CONSUMER confidence across the Asia-Pacific region will be positive in the first half of the year, with Philippine respondents singled out as the most optimistic, driven by “rising economic growth” among others, Mastercard said.

“The findings from the latest index reveal that consumer confidence in Asia Pacific bubbles with youthful optimism stemming from rising economic growth, a soaring travel industry and greater intra-regional economic cooperation in the region,” the latest Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence revealed.

The results of Mastercard’s index, disclosed to reporters via e-mail on Friday, showed that consumers aged above 30 posted a 6.3-point jump in optimism, while confidence rose five points in people 30 years old and below.

The trend of rising optimism started in the latter half of 2016.

In addition, Mastercard noted that the millennial consumers, aged 18 to 30, are very confident about the next six months. However, consumers aged 30 and above have a ”tempered outlook towards the future.”

“These lifts are reflected across buoyant consumer sentiment towards the stock market, employment and economic performance,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Philippines booked the highest level of optimism among its Asian peers as it scored 94.5 points.

Other emerging economies in the region such as China, Cambodia and Myanmar also scored high on optimism, with 92.2 points, 92.2 points and 91.7 points, respectively.

“High levels of optimism in emerging markets can be attributed to infrastructure investments which are seen to drive more opportunities for jobs and upward social mobility.”

Developed markets such as Taiwan, Malaysia and Japan were more pessimistic, logging 44.2 points, 45.9 points and 51 points, respectively.

The Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence is the most comprehensive and longest-running survey of its kind in the region, with over 20 years of consumer confidence indices collected from over 200,000 interviews. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal