China experienced substantial growth in government outsourcing during 2020, which allowed for this new figure of increased spending to be available for assessment, and to be included in our measure for previous years. In total, the country reported a net growth of +3.4% in 2020, followed by expected growth of +5.0% for 2021.
In South Korea, an increase in the level of public spending helped maintain levels of output in an economy that, unlike that of many other countries, had seen a relatively small impact of the pandemic. As such, the country reported a positive net increase of 1.3% in its insights market in 2020 and expects to continue the positive trend with a net growth of +3% in 2021.
Lastly, the relatively small size of the Mongolian market saw a substantial inflow of capital from government contracts after a year of elections. The increased spending on polling, opinion and the subsequent research commissioned by the elected government in 2020 pushed growth to almost +11% in net terms expected to have remained throughout 2021.
Like in other regions, most spend growth was channelled to tech-enabled solutions, even if in general lines countries also increased the use of online questionnaires as well as CATI methods of research – both considered established. While the established side of the industry experienced an estimated negative net growth of 2.9% and the reporting activity failed to show a clear steady growth (-0.8% net), the technology-enabled industry carried the impulse of the industry and declared an estimated +9.2% net growth.
Aside from these considerations, only 8 out of 24 markets managed to avoid double-digit declines in net output in 2020. These were, mostly, the largest markets in the region, oftentimes acting as “hubs” from where multi-country research is conducted – China, Singapore, India –, as well as beacons of technological progress – Japan, Australia, South Korea. Conversely, 2021 is expected to encounter up to 10 markets positing double-digit positive growth rates, undoing much of the shock brought about by the pandemic.