Asia’s millennials proving cautious consumers, investors
Nikkei Asian Review
May 21, 2016

HONG KONG — In Asia, as in the U.S. and Europe, millennials are emerging as the new darlings of marketers, manufacturers and retailers who see them carrying the economy in the coming decades.

But as Asian economies enter into a maturity phase, the region’s young adults born between 1980 and 2000 seem to be more cautious about spending and investing than their predecessors.

A survey of individual investors published in late February by Manulife Asset Management, a Canadian asset manager, shows millennials do not spend much on things other than daily necessities, clothes and affordable entertainment. They keep 40% of their assets as cash or savings.

The survey covered 4,000 middle- to high-income earners in eight Asian countries and areas — China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Millennials, aged 25-34, accounted for a third of the surveyed.

In the survey, the respondents aged 35 or older said they spent an average 59% of their income, compared with 56% for millennials.

The ratios were less than 50% for millennials in Taiwan (44%), China (49%) and Singapore (49%).

In general, those aged 25 to 34 tend to see an increase in their income, but young adults are not especially ardent shoppers.

Instead, millennials are proving to be diligent savers, with 60% squirreling away for specific savings targets, higher than the 44% for individuals aged 35 or older.

The figures are over 70% for millennials in Malaysia and the Philippines. □