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Philippines, Indonesia record surging consumer confidence

Yuwa Hedrick-Wong

Yuwa Hedrick-Wong

Indonesian and Filipino consumer confidence surged in the last half of 2012, according to the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence released on Friday.

Consumer confidence in Indonesia jumped 30.1 points from 57.4 to 87.5, and 13.6 points in the Philippine from 65.2 to 78.8. The increases amid a weak global economy are due to international and domestic investment and global demand for Asian and Pacific exports, according to the survey analysis.

Although nine out of 14 Asia/Pacific markets polled recorded positive sentiments when compared to the first half of 2012, some countries saw major deteriorations.

The most notable decreases were seen in South Korea, where consumer confidence dropped 12.7 points from 51.3 to 38.6, in part due to stiff competition from Japanese competition in exports and capital goods.

New Zealand also had a significant drop of 8.3 points, along with minor decreases in Thailand and Singapore.

“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,” according to Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, a global economic advisor for MasterCard Worldwide. “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.”

The survey, conducted between Nov. 7 and Dec. 23, is based on the answers of 11,339 respondents ages 18-64 from 25 countries within Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

Respondents were asked five questions about their six-month outlook on the economy, employment prospects, the local stock market, their regular income prospects and their quality of life.

Index scores are then calculated from zero, or the most pessimistic, to 100, or the most optimistic, with 50 remaining neutral.

This is Mastercard’s 40th bi-annual Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence since it began in the first half of 1993.

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