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 moves 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 with 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 that remained most optimistic are in 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 reading, improved by 21.9 index points to lead the region, followed by South Korea (up 21.4 Index points), Malaysia (up 17.1 Index points) and New Zealand (up 15.3 Index points).
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.
"The first is the global environment, which continues to be weak and riddled with uncertainty, especially in Europe.
"The second is the slowdown in China, which has been affecting many key regional markets that are China-centric in their exports and third is the strength of the domestic markets in sustaining growth with home-grown demand," Hedrick-Wong said.
The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is based on a survey conducted between April 24 2012 and June 10 2012, on 11,376 respondents aged 18- 64 in 25 countries within Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.