India tops confidence charts

06 August 2012

NEW DELHI: Consumers in India recorded the highest levels of confidence across Asia Pacific during the first half of this year, according to new figures.

MasterCard, the financial services group, polled 11,367 people in 25 countries worldwide, and broke out the results for markets including Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Vietnam.

India registered 82.1 points on the company's regular barometer of popular sentiment, where 100 points indicated the strongest level of positivity, meaning it was labelled as "very optimistic".

China, Thailand and Vietnam joined India on the list of "very optimistic" countries. More specifically, China was up by 12.6 points to 77.4 points and Thailand saw a lift of 11.9 points to 75.8 points, while Vietnam held steady on 77.2 points.

The biggest positive shifts in sentiment were actually recorded in Hong Kong, up 21.9 points to 51.8 points, and South Korea, up 21.4 points to 51.3 points.

At the other end of the spectrum, the most significant deterioration was registered in Indonesia, where the index fell by 18.7 points to 57.4 points. The Philippines likewise saw a double-digit drop, down by 11.8 points, but remained "optimistic" overall on 65.2 points.

Despite improving by 7.4 points, Japan was still "very pessimistic" with a rating of 23.6 points. Taiwan, on 25.7 points, and Australia, on 39.2 points, were the only other "pessimistic" countries.

Totals for Asia Pacific as a whole improved by 5.1 points compared to the second half of 2011, but confidence remained subdued at 57.2 points, well behind Africa on 76.1 points and the Middle East on 83.5 points.

When assessing income prospects, the reading improved slightly across Asia Pacific, reaching 71.9 points, versus 64.5 points in the previous six months.

Views on the economy, where returns rose from 49.3 points to 51.8 points, and on employment, where the index was up from 49.3 points to 54.0 points, remained similarly stable. This was also true of the quality of life, up from 49.6 to 51.7 points.

Data sourced from MasterCard; additional content by Warc staff