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MasterCard: Consumer confidence rises 17.1 points [30-08-2012]  
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Malaysia has shown significant improvement across all consumer confidence indicators with an increase of 17.1 index points, according to MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence.

In a statement yesterday, MasterCard Worldwide said Malaysia recorded an increase across all key indicators regular income (from 72.1 to 83.9 index points); employment (53.5 to 73.8 index points); economy (45.6 to 64.1 index points); quality of life (47.8 to 67.4 index points); and, stock market (44.8 to 60.2 Index points).

MasterCard Worldwide vice president/senior country manager for Malaysia and Brunei, Jim Cheah, said the improvement demonstrated by Malaysia was encouraging as the country moved to become a high-income nation.“Malaysians have shown confidence in the development of the country through these insights,” he said.

MasterCard Worldwide said overall, nine out of 14 Asia/Pacific markets polled recorded positive improvements when compared to the second half of 2011 with a regional rise from 52.1 index points in the second half of 2011 to 57.2 index points in the first half of 2012.

Consumers in the region which remained most optimistic were India (82.1 index points), China (77.4), Vietnam (77.2) and Thailand (75.8), while the least optimistic markets were Japan (23.6), Taiwan (25.7) and Australia (39.2). Hong Kong, which dropped 38.7 Index points in the last Index, improved by 21.9 index points to lead the region, followed closely by South Korea (up 21.4 Index points), Malaysia (up 17.1 Index points) and New Zealand (up 15.3 Index points), it said.

Meanwhile, MasterCard Worldwide global economic adviser, Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, said the latest reading of consumer confidence in Asia/Pacific reflected the increasingly complex mix of key influences affecting the region.

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