Emerging affluent 'cautiously confident' about Singapore

Emerging affluent consumers are "cautiously confident" about growth prospects here even as fears of a global recession loom overhead, according to a new study.

It found that 62 per cent of those polled - with a monthly household income of $12,000 to $20,000 - said there are good job opportunities in Singapore.

The survey interviewed 7,000 of these emerging affluent consumers in seven of key Standard Chartered Bank markets - Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya and Nigeria - including around 1,000 in Singapore.

About 55 per cent of respondents believe the younger generation have good future prospects here, although this came in below the survey average of 66 per cent.

The confidence of those polled here stems largely from a strong domestic economy, as cited by 37 per cent of the respondents - a finding that "compares favourably" with the other markets surveyed, excluding China as an outlier at 54 per cent.

But the StanChart survey also noted that only 46 per cent of respondents here expect their household disposable incomes to rise in the next year, compared with the survey average of 72 per cent.

Travelling abroad came up as an immediate spending priority for Singaporean respondents, although buying a property remains a more important goal over the medium and long term.

Still, 71 per cent believe they will achieve their 10-year wealth aspirations. While this is lower than the poll average of 87 per cent, it is higher than Hong Kong's 60 per cent.

"As economic power continues to shift eastwards, these increasingly affluent, urban consumers in Asia and Africa are a key source of future demand for companies around the world," said the report.

Mr Harmander Mahal, StanChart's head of segments for retail clients in Singapore, noted the proportion of emerging affluent and affluent clients it is seeing here is on the rise. "Singapore is a prime example of a market where these increasingly affluent, urban consumers are starting to accumulate wealth."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2015, with the headline 'Emerging affluent 'cautiously confident' about Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe