Research Briefing | Aug 17, 2023

Indian and SE Asian cities lead growth in household incomes

Asia-Pacific’s fast-growing emerging cities are driving the continued expansion of the region’s middle-income class and the reshaping of its consumption patterns. In previous decades that was driven by China’s ascent to becoming an upper middle-income country, and the rapidly rising living standards of its urban residents.

What you will learn:

  • Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru lead the rankings of the region’s most important cities in terms of household income growth, and that is driving the rapid expansion of the number of their households classed as either middle or high-income.
  • In terms of absolute scale, however, few cities come close to the Chinese mega cities in the sheer number of new middle-income—and indeed high-income—households added over the medium term.
  • Productivity growth is key to raising living standards and Asia-Pacific’s most promising emerging cities are showing growing strength in higher productivity industries and services, from high value manufacturing to finance, IT, and business services.
  • The increasing number of middle-income households will reshape the five-year outlook for certain consumer products and services, with discretionary consumption categories such as hospitality and recreation out-growing non-discretionary ones such as food and clothing.
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