Consumer confidence up: Mastercard
Asia - Consumers in Asia are entering the next six months with a steady sense of optimism, if a new study is to be believed.
According to the latest Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence survey, eight of the 14 markets polled reflected positive consumer sentiment looking ahead, with the Asia Pacific region witnessing an overall increase in its consumer confidence index score from six months ago.
The index is based on five economic indicators: Economy, employment, stock market, regular income and quality of life. The Index score is calculated on a range of 0-100, with 100 as the most optimistic.
Vietnam was the most optimistic nation, scoring 93.7 on the index. It was followed by Singapore (86.6) and China (83). The Philippines showed increased confidence scoring 84.6 in this survey compared to 69.9 in the last, together with Malaysia (71.7 vs 63.5) and Taiwan (64.3 vs 47.2).
Across the region, the trend of respondents below the age of 30 being more optimistic than their older counterparts continued, with the index scores of the former group averaging 73 points compared to 67.4 points for those over the age of 30. This was significant in places like Hong Kong (83.3 vs 74.4), Singapore (92 vs 84) and New Zealand (77.2 vs 61.8).
"The Asia Pacific region rebounded in economic growth as early as the second half of last year, and regional recovery has continued to gain traction this year," said Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic advisor at Asia/Pacific, MasterCard Worldwide.
"While consumers in this region were amongst the first to cut back drastically on discretionary spending 18 months ago, they now seem confident and ready to significantly increase their discretionary expenditures and reduce their precautionary savings. This stability of consumer confidence and rising consumption in Asia Pacific therefore bodes well for stronger business investment through the rest of the year, thereby contributing to the momentum of recovery."
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