MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines and Indonesia, two of the strongest economies in Asia-Pacific, are also home to the most optimistic consumers in the region, according to a survey by MasterCard.
The latest MasterCard Worldwide IndexTM of Consumer Confidence showed that despite uncertainty in the global economy, consumers in Asia-Pacific are still optimistic.
The Asia-Pacific region saw a slight increase to 59.7 index points from 57.2 in the second half of 2012, with 9 out of 10 countries recording positive sentiment.
"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," Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor for MasterCard Worldwide, said in a statement.
The index showed "extreme improvements" in Indonesia, where consumer confidence jumped 30.1 points from 57.4 to 87.5, and the Philippines, which rose 13.6 points from 65.2 to 78.8.
The Philippines and Indonesia are considered
"bright spots" in the global economy, with their fast-growing economies boosting consumer confidence.
"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," Hedrick-Wong said.
On the other hand, the biggest drop in consumer confidence was in South Korea, which fell to negative 38.6 index points from positive 51.3 index points.
The survey was conducted between November 7 to December 23 on 11,339 respondents in 25 countries.