Martina Hund-Mejean – Chief Financial Officer
Run around the world
“So from the United States point of view, we are still seeing consumers behaving pretty well, so I think the market is doing very well. We see really no different trends than what we had seen before.
If you go to Europe, Europe is–you know, some countries are doing well, like Germany; some other countries are doing a little bit less well, like the U.K., France, Italy. Of course in Europe, you have some different cross-border trends coming in given the weaker pound, so that means everybody outside of the U.K. loves to come to London, but the Brits are not going to be able to spend quite as much as what they would like to do in Spain and other countries where they like to go for vacation. But for us, the trends are really offsetting trends, so there is no net-net plus or net-net negative, but it’s an offsetting trend.
If I go to Asia-Pacific, Asia-Pacific is also doing pretty well. I know a lot of you are talking about China and looking at that, but despite China, we are seeing that the rest of Asia is doing okay. India is doing very well, and even in Australia we are seeing some good trends there.
Going to Middle East-Africa, that’s a little bit more of a difficult story, especially when you look at the oil producing countries like Nigeria, etc. That continues to be relatively stressed, you see really cross-border declines in that. Domestically, you don’t see a lot of increase, so that just continues to be the same story. We really haven’t seen any different trend there.
Then when you go to Latin America, despite the most recent political issues in Brazil, Brazil is doing very well, that continues to drive a good economic environment. Mexico is doing well, Argentina is doing okay, Colombia, Chile. The only real negative spot in Latin America is Venezuela, and we’ve been talking about that a number of times before. So net-net, when you look at our volumes, there is really no new news to report.”
Still secular growth opportunity in the US
“When you look at our volumes and in terms of what we’re producing, there are a couple of things going on. One, of course, personal consumption expenditure is going up, as I just told you, which we are benefiting from, but even in the United States, you still have the secular trend from cash and check to electronic forms of payments. After all, only about 60% of the personal consumption expenditure in the United States is electronified, and about 40% is still done in cash and check, so there is a lot of growth opportunities, and every year you’re seeing a little bit of that coming through in our numbers too.”