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                                                                                                                           Asean Affairs  July 25, 2013  

Consumer confidence levels in Singapore remain stable in H1 2013: survey
SINGAPORE: Consumer confidence levels in Singapore remained stable throughout the first half of the year.
Consumers are focusing on their future financial security.
This is according to the second-quarter global consumer confidence findings from Nielsen, a global provider of information and measurement.
The consumer confidence index score was 95, relatively unchanged since the second quarter last year when the index was at 94 points.
Nielsen said the consumer confidence level in Singapore is on par with the global benchmark.
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions measures consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions amongst more than 29,000 respondents.
Consumer confidence levels above a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism while levels below 100 indicate degrees of pessimism.
50 per cent of Singaporeans had a positive financial outlook, down four points compared to the first quarter of 2013.
Singaporeans are less optimistic about their personal finances than most other countries in Southeast Asia. Singapore scored 49 points, four points below the global average of 54 per cent.
Singaporeans used spare cash to save and pay off debts, credit cards and loans, and spending on vacations.
60 per cent of respondents said they would put spare cash into savings in the second quarter.
This is well above the global average of 47 per cent.
24 per cent of Singaporeans surveyed said they use their spare cash to invest in shares and mutual funds compared to just 19 per cent globally.
One in five Singaporeans allocate spare funds into building their retirement fund. This is double the global average of 11 per cent.
Consumers said they will continue to cut back on household expenses in the coming months.
The survey also revealed that economic uncertainty is strongest among the lower income classes - those who earn between S$25,000 and S$30,000 per year. These consumers recorded a consumer confidence index of 81.
Consumers who earn more than S$125,000 per annum appeared more optimistic about the economy and the state of their personal finances. Their index was 105.  

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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