Wed, Dec 15, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Asians optimistic about the economy, survey shows


Asian consumers remain the most optimistic in the world with more than half of those polled in a global survey expecting their economies to improve in 2005, market research firm ACNielsen said yesterday.

The firm's online poll of 14,000 people in 28 countries and territories showed 53 percent of consumers in the Asia Pacific region were confident of better economic fortunes in 2005.

Only 43 percent of Americans and 31 percent of Europeans held similar views.

"Consumer confidence in Asia Pacific remains strong with the region's consumers standing out as the most upbeat out of all three regions surveyed," said Ashok Charan, the firm's managing director in Singapore.

"This will be music to the ears of investors who may have been hesitant in investing in Asia."

Eight of the 10 countries most upbeat about economic fortunes in 2005 were from the Asia Pacific.

Chinese consumers were the most optimistic, with 78 percent of respondents saying they expected their economy to get stronger.

India was ranked second with 77 percent, followed by Indonesia with 76 percent and Singapore was fourth with 72 percent.

However not all Asians were so optimistic, with less than 35 percent of respondents from the Philippines, Japan and South Korea saying they felt their economies would improve in 2005.

The survey polled people living in cities across 13 Asia Pacific nations and Hong Kong, as well as in the US and 13 European countries.

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