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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs 1 August 2014  

Consumer confidence up in July

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Viet Nam Consumer Confidence Index posted another strong gain, increasing by 3.1 points to reach 134.1 in July, to stand well above the 2014 average of 131.

ANZ Bank economists announced this in a report dated July 30, adding that easing of political tensions appear to have contributed to the increase in confidence during the month.

In terms of personal finances, 34 per cent (up 2 per cent) of the Vietnamese people say that their families are "better off" than a year ago, while 19 per cent (down 1 per cent) say that their families are "worse off".

About 55 per cent (up 7 per cent) expect their families to be "better off" financially this time next year, compared to 6 per cent (down 2 per cent) who expect their families to be "worse off".

As much as 61 per cent (up 4 per cent) of the Vietnamese people expect Viet Nam to have "good times" economically over the next five years, compared to 7 per cent (down 4 per cent) who expect "bad times".

However, 47 per cent (down 2 per cent) expect the country will have "good times" financially during the next twelve months, while 15 per cent (down 1 per cent) expect "bad times".

Thirty-seven per cent (down 1 per cent) of the Vietnamese people say now is a "good time to buy" major household items, compared to 17 per cent (up 3 per cent) who say it is a "bad time to buy".

"We believe the economic backdrop will be one of sure-and-steady recovery, rather than a V-shaped rebound," said Glenn Maguire, the chief economist of ANZ in Asia-Pacific.

Consumer confidence sitting above the 2014 average is aligned with Viet Nam's ongoing economic momentum. However, further strong gains in confidence will need to be propelled either via wealth effects from higher equity and gold prices, or a faster improvement in the economy.

"We would now assess confidence as being more likely to move sideways at elevated levels rather than continue to make strong gains," said Glenn.

The ANZ Bank and Roy Morgan Research launched the monthly private consumer index for Viet Nam earlier this month, with surveys covering major cities and provinces across the nation.

The consumer index jumped 7.7 points in June.

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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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