US & Asia Pacific During COVID-19

What do we agree on, where do we differ, and how do we move forward.

In our latest COVID-19 infographic, we have completed our 1st wave in Asia Pacific and have the opportunity to compare the US and Asia Pacific consumers’ perspectives on COVID-19, and examined where the two regions are alike, and where are they different.

In this post, we take a deeper dive into the findings from the surveys we conducted in each region to give you a more in-depth understanding of how to navigate today’s changing landscape.

Consumers from APAC are feeling confident about when things will return to normal

While we have not seen anything like this on a global scale, we do have previous pandemic experiences within Asia Pacific, including SARS, MERS, etc. As a result, 51% of consumers from Asia Pacific believe they will be returning to a ‘new normal’ within the next 6 months. Greater confidence in Asia Pacific, where lockdowns and social distancing have been in place since late January, is a result of markets now experiencing single digits and/or no new cases on a consistent basis.

Corporations’ confidence seems to be lower than the confidence of consumers, who will gradually open their wallets as their confidence grows. Corporations and economists are in general agreement that 2021 will see a significant bounce back in the region, though it is still unclear if we’ll see numbers similar to those of 2019. Hence nearly half of corporations in Asia pacific believe that it will take more than 1 year to recover.

Consumers from APAC are more concerned about their personal finances than those in the US

68% of US consumers are concerned about their personal finances compared to 83% of consumers in Asia Pacific. This has been further highlighted by the NYSE (both S&P and Nasdaq composites) dropping significantly lower than that of European and Asian Stock Markets. In addition to this, given that the pandemic started in late January for most Asia Pacific countries, corporations have already made strategic decisions to protect their business, and consumers’ personal finances have taken a substantial impact over the last 4 months, compared to the US where the lockdowns started in mid-March.

Confidence in Government

In response to the question “Which of the following will make you feel confident that the Coronavirus is under control and return to a normal way of life?”, 50% of respondents in APAC answered, “when the government informs you it is ok.” However, only 32% of respondents in the US had the same answer. Given the historical experiences, countries in Asia Pacific have been able to leverage business continuity plans and implement actions that have previously worked. On the other hand, US consumers seem to have a greater faith in the World Health Organization (43%).

 

Methodology

US

These Online CARAVAN® omnibus surveys were conducted April 17-19 and May 1-3, 2020. Approximately 1000 adults selected from opt-in panels were surveyed each time. The results are also weighted to U.S. Census data to be demographically representative.

APAC Consumer Survey

This online survey was conducted April 22-26, 2020, in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand & Taiwan. Sample includes 100 adults for every market that is demographically representative for Gender, Age and Income.

Business Survey

This online survey was conducted April 20-30, 2020, among ENGINE clients in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, India, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Korea & Japan.

 

Written by Oliver RusT CEO of ENGINE Insights APAC.