Asian consumers lead in optimism — survey

Published by rudy Date posted on January 27, 2010

Consumers across the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions are approaching the next six months with optimism, according to the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence survey.

As the global economy recovers, 21 of the 24 markets polled reflected positive consumer sentiment looking ahead, including Vietnam (90.3), Nigeria (89.4), Qatar (89.2), United Arab Emirates (86.1) and China (85), which topped the list.

The Philippines (49.7) hovered near the neutral mark, pulled upwards by a positive outlook toward regular income for the six month period ahead.

The Asia-Pacific region saw an increase in its consumer confidence index score from six months ago (66.3 up from 38.7). Vietnam (90.0), China (85.3) and Singapore (79.4) reflected significantly higher consumer confidence compared to other markets in the region. Most markets showed increased confidence in their employment outlook, particularly Vietnam and Singapore, which topped the region for confidence in this indicator.

Japan (24.4), which has been pessimistic in its outlook for 30 of the 34 surveys since the inception of the Index, continued this trend — more than one in three Japanese consumers expect the economy to be worse in the next six months.

Developed markets in the region have seen a quick recovery in consumer confidence. United Arab Emirates leapt up in confidence with the largest Index score increase of the markets last surveyed six months ago (29.6 to 86.1).

Sharp improvements were also evident for Singapore with a strongly optimistic Index score of 79.4, up from a pessimistic 31.2 in the previous survey, New Zealand (69.7, up from 21.5 six months ago), and Australia (69.5 from 24.1). Across the three markets, confidence in the Economy and Employment has improved dramatically.

Now in its 17th year, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the region’s most comprehensive and longest running consumer confidence survey. Released twice a year, the Index is based on a survey which measures consumer confidence on prevailing expectations in the market for the next six months based on five economic indicators: Economy, Employment, Stock Market, Regular Income and Quality of Life. The Index score is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral. The latest survey was conducted from 1 October to 9 November 2009 and involved 10,623 consumers from 24 markets . Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance. –Daily Tribune

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