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Malaysian youths skeptical about economic outlook

As compared to their Asia Pacific counterparts, youth in Malaysia are not so confident about their nation's short-term economic prospects.

According to the MasterCard Youth Confidence Index, Malaysia's youth scored 61.1 out of 100 points when asked about the nation's six-month outlook on five economic factors.

These factors included employment prospects, the economy, regular income, and present versus anticipated quality of life in five years.

Having come in at 11th place out of the 16 countries polled in the survey, Malaysia's score was below the Asia Pacific region's average of 67.8.

Youth in India (84) and Indonesia (82.5) were found to be the most optimistic about their economies, followed by Philippines (78.5) and China (77.5).

The report highlighted lower levels of confidence levels among the more developed countries in the region, notably Taiwan (42.2) and Japan (48.6).

"This new index by MasterCard is a good barometer for where today's youth stand in terms of confidence levels regarding a variety of economic factors," Pierre Burret, the Asia Pacific region head of MasterCard Advisors, said.

"It is encouraging to see strong scores reflecting optimistic attitudes towards the coming six months, especially with regard to employment and regular income prospects which no doubt have a significant impact on the potential of the youth consumer market as well," he added.

The report included these optimism levels about the economy were aligned with those of Malaysia's senior generation.

In a separate MasterCard Consumer Confidence Index of people from the ages of 30 to 64, Malaysia achieved a close score of 62.2. However, this was again lower than the Asia Pacific average of 64 for the older segment.

"With elections expected in numerous countries in the region this year, it will also be interesting to see if this optimism among the youth holds up and continues through to the end of 2014," Burret said.

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