Indonesian consumers remain the most optimistic in the world, despite high inflation linked to the government increasing the price of subsidized fuel in June this year, a survey from Nielsen showed. The global research company released on Friday its “Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions,” which measures the consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions of more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 60 countries around the world. Indonesia’s consumer confidence index by the end of the third quarter of this year stood at 120 points, declining by four points from the outcome in the previous quarter’s survey. Despite a slight decline, Indonesia’s score remains the highest, beating its closest competitors — the Philippines (118 points), Thailand (112 points) and Malaysia (101 points). Indonesia also beat the global average of 94 points. Consumer confidence levels above 100 points indicate consumers are optimistic about the overall economic conditions in their country. “Indonesia continues to be buoyant with the positivity that is generated by an upcoming election, a growing middle class and wages growth,” said Catherine Eddy, managing director of Nielsen Indonesia. Eddy acknowledged that in the past two months there had been significant inflationary pressure in the country, following the government’s decision to increase the price of Premium, the widely used subsidized gasoline, by 44 percent to Rp 6,500 a liter from the previous Rp 4,500 a liter. But she said that “Indonesian consumers are highly resilient in dealing with challenges and quickly adapt with the situation. After a few months we no longer see increasing fuel prices as a major concern, instead we can see the concern about political stability increasing, which is most likely a response to the close timing proximity to the presidential [and legislative] election next year.” Nielsen’s survey also said Indonesians continued to have the world’s most optimistic view on their financial position.
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