Indian consumers most optimist in region despite note-ban: Report

New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) Indian consumers remain the most optimistic in the Asia-Pacific region and their outlook on economy and stock market showed highest levels of confidence even after their government’s recent demonetisation measure, a report said on Monday.

“Consumers in India remain extremely optimistic in their outlook for the next six months,” said the Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence for the second half of 2016, released on Monday.

India topped the Asia-Pacific region as the most optimistic market despite recording a slight dip of 2.4 points in the overall consumer confidence, to 95.3 points, it said.

“Consumers in India are ‘extremely optimistic’ about all five components measured in the index, with their outlook on the economy (96.3) and stock market (96.2) showing the highest levels of confidence,” it added.

The latest report is based on a survey conducted across 17 markets in Asia Pacific, between November 2016 and December 2016, Mastercard said.

Moreover, countries like Myanmar (92.8), Vietnam (92.3) and Philippines (91.6) also remained extremely optimistic in their outlook.

Across Asia Pacific, while Bangladesh (82.8, gain of 11.2), Hong Kong (42.2, gain of 10.1) and Thailand (68.3, gain of 10.1) saw more than 10-point improvements, Taiwan (34.2) and Malaysia (31.2) saw more than 10 point decreases.

“It is very encouraging that India’s confidence in the economic outlook remains optimistic amid various economic developments in the country,” Mastercard South Asia Division President Porush Singh said in the statement.

“This result is particularly interesting in light of the recent demonetisation drive that has brought significant change to people’s lives as they navigate from a cash intensive economy to a less-cash economy,” he added.

According to the report, recent initiatives such as Make in India and Digital India are driving investments across sectors and propelling confidence in the business landscape.