Philippines, Indonesia consumers among most optimistic - survey
MANILA, Philippines - Consumers in Philippines and Indonesia are the most optimistic in the Asia Pacific region, according to a survey highlighting the neighbor countries' "extreme improvements" in confidence despite the global uncertainty.
The two countries led the 14 Asia-Pacific markets included in the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence released on Thursday, February 7.
"Extreme improvements were recorded in Indonesia, where consumer confidence jumped 30.1 Index points (from 57.4 to 87.5), and the Philippines, which rose 13.6 Index points (from 65.2 to 78.8)," Mastercard said in a statement.
The financial services firm noted that both countries have benefited from rising investment -- from both domestic and international investors -- amid slowdown in global economy affecting exports, a key source of economic growth.
This Mastercard study complements the official statisticians' findings that Filipinos have been treating themselves more.
The following markets showed deterioration in consumer confidence:
- South Korea - down from a positive 51.3 Index points to a negative 38.6 Index points. (South Korea, which is tightly linked to the global trade cycle, is also facing stiff competition from Japan in markets where their exports of capital goods compete head-to-head.)
- New Zealand - down from 51.0 to 42.7 Index points
- Thailand - down from 75.8 to 69.6
- Vietnam - from 77.2 to 74.5
- Singapore - from 52.9 to 50.0
“The Asia/Pacific region is increasingly divided between markets that are still closely linked with the global trade cycle, and those that have been able to delink themselves from it. This trend is reflected in the latest MasterCard consumer confidence survey,” explained Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor for MasterCard Worldwide.
“The strong improvement in consumer sentiment in Indonesia and Philippines are cases in point. The results of the consumer confidence survey provide additional evidence that it is critically important to be able to leverage domestic demand effectively to support economic growth in the context of weakened global demand.”
About 9 out of 14 Asia-Pacific markets polled recorded positive sentiment when compared to the first half of 2012.
Overall, Asia-Pacific saw a slight increase from 57.2 Index points in the first half of 2012 to 59.7
Index points with improvement recorded in most key indicators:
- employment - 54.0 to 56.6 Index points
- economy - 51.8 to 57.2
- quality of life - 51.7 to 55.3
- stock market - 56.5 to 57.6
- regular income - the same at 71.9
About 11,339 respondents aged 18 to 64 in 25 countries within Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa participated in the survey conducted between November 7 to December, 23 2012.
Respondents were asked 5 questions pertaining to their 6 month outlook on the economy, employment prospects, the local stock market, their regular income prospects and their quality of life.
In computing the index score, zero is the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral. - Rappler.com