Vietnam consumer confidence up a notch amidst deeper global gloom

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Vietnam's consumer confidence slightly increased in the second quarter after falling to the lowest level since mid 2010 in the previous quarter, a new Nielsen survey has found.

According to the market research firm, the consumer confidence index for Vietnam inched up one point to stand at 95.

This is a rare positive sign since confidence levels across Asia have continued to decline, with just five markets recording an increase in the June quarter.

Malaysia posted the strongest gain in Asia, up four points compared to the first quarter. Meanwhile, Japan and South Korea recorded the lowest levels of confidence in the region with scores of 57 and 50 respectively, Nielsen said.

Despite weakening sentiment around the region, Asian consumers still outperformed their peers in other markets in terms of confidence.

"Continuing economic uncertainty is clearly impacting on consumers' confidence levels across the region," said Therese Glennon, Nielsen's Managing Director of Consumer Insights in the APMEA Region. "Consumer confidence has failed to gain any momentum this year as global events, including a worsening Euro zone crisis coupled with slowing growth rates in China and India, impacted financial markets and consumer sentiment in many parts of Asia."

In Vietnam, consumers have decided to stay very cautious in spending.

Savings remain the top choice for Vietnamese to put spare cash in after covering essential living expenses while out of home entertainment and home improvement became less attractive to them, Nielsen said.

Forty-six percent of Vietnamese respondents said their job prospects over the next 12 months were good or excellent, down 7 percentage points from the previous quarter.

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