Things are looking up in 2010

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The Independent Online

Consumers in Asia, the Middle East and Africa are feeling broadly positive about the next six months, according to data released this week by MasterCard.

A survey of consumer sentiment in key areas such as quality of life, employment, the economy, regular income and the stock market has shown that all three regions have seen a dramatic improvement in consumer confidence levels from six months ago. The sharpest improvements were evident in Singapore, New Zealand and Australia, whilst the only countries that remained pessimistic overall were Kenya, Japan and the Philippines.

Vietnam, Nigeria, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates were the most optimistic countries, with significantly higher confidence levels than their neighbors. Chennai, India residents were the most optimistic city dwellers in the survey, followed by residents of Hanoi, Vietnam.

Consumers in the Middle East and Africa were most confident about their personal income, whilst consumers in Asia felt most confident about the economy. Asia also showed a considerable jump in employment prospects for the period, feeling doubly confident compared with the first half of 2009.

MasterCard polled over 10,000 consumers in 24 markets to compile the Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence, now in its 34th edition for Asia/Pacific, 12th for the Middle East and first for Africa.