Big Mac index’s guide to SEA

23 July 2015

With the hamburger giant, McDonalds, now operating in most of South East Asian (SEA) countries – including the launch in Vietnam last year – the price of their flagship Big Mac hamburger in each market can be seen as “a lighthearted guide to whether currencies are at their correct level”, according to The Economist.

The Big Mac index was invented by The Economist in 1986, and is published on a monthly basis on its website. According to its evaluation, most currencies in the SEA region are undervalued. The Economist also lists the unit price of a Big Mac in US$, and GDP per person, providing relevance to how affordable the burger is among local consumers.

Australian manufacturing beef exports to the SEA region has been growing steadily over the last decade, with the Philippines and Indonesia being the major markets for the product. For the first six months of 2015, Australia sent 24,298 tonnes swt of manufacturing beef to the region, down 4% from the corresponding period in 2014, but still 13% higher than the five year average.


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