HSBC International today released the first results from their 2009 Expat Explorer survey (download a copy here HSBC Bank International Expat Explorer Survey 2009). It makes chilling reading as it clearly shows that the economic effects of the worldwide recession are making themselves felt among expat communities worldwide. On the positive side, expats as a whole still evaluate that they are wealthier and manage to save more than when they were resident in their home countries! Some highlights:
Where is the crunch causing the most damage?
Residents in the US, Thailand and South Africa have identified the largest changes in their spending and saving patterns. The largest reduction in day-to-day items was shown by 81% of expatriates in Spain cutting back on spending for day-to-day essentials, with the US (79%) and the UK (75%) close behind.
15% of all expats surveyed are considering going home. A massive 44% of all Expats surveyed in the UK are doing so and 23% of those in the US are thinking the same.
Paul Say, Head of Marketing and Communications for HSBC Bank International said,
As the world continues to undergo a significant economic shift, we are seeing some interesting patterns amongst the expat population, particularly in the changes to their spending habits. Despite expats in the UK and US considering a move home we also found that the majority of expats are staying put despite growing employment uncertainty across many regions.
Is there anywhere still looking OK?
Emerging markets seem to be the most promising on pure economic measures. 30% of expats surveyed in Russia are earning more than $250,000/year. Other high-earning destinations (with % earning $250k+ in brackets) were: Hong Kong (27%), Japan (26%), Switzerland (25%) and India (25%). The global average is 16%
Expats save more
68% of expatriates say they save more than at home. Russia (97%) and Qatar (98%) have the highest saving rates. Only 14% of expats say they save less than at home. On the investment side of things and despite falling prices, 46% of respondents still invest money in property.
Read the report in full: http://www.offshore.hsbc.com/expatexplorer