Dining and entertainment stay as top spending priority: MasterCard survey

Consumers in Asia / Pacific, Middle East and Africa still treat dining and entertainment as their top spending priorities for the next six months, according to MasterCard's Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities.

The two categories had also figured on top in the previous survey in December 2008. The category topped the list for discretionary spend in 18 of the 21 markets across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

Among the 10 main categories included in the MasterCard survey, spend on extracurricular activities for one's children, and on fitness and wellness are expected to be the least prone to cutbacks, revealed the 'MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience', which is based on the survey findings. The index measures consumers' resistance for cutting expenditure.

According to the survey, the top priorities for expenditure for the next six months are:

 Dining and entertainment: 69 per cent 
 Fashion and accessories: 49 per cent
Fitness and wellness: 36 per cent
Consumer electronics and children's extra-curricular activities/private tuition: 34 per cent 

Dining and entertainment is also among the top three categories most resilient to cutbacks in consumer spending. It registered a score of 69 in the resilience index, behind children's extra-curricular activities / private tuition (87) and fitness and wellness (78). Consumer electronics (67) and fashion and accessories (65) also showed resilience to cutbacks.