South African consumers are upbeat.

South African consumers are more optimistic about their own economy than most consumers in other countries are about their home economies. South Africa placed 12th in optimism in A. C. Nielsen's most recent online "Global Consumer Confidence and Opinions Survey". Nielsen said that the survey is the largest of its kind on the Internet and took place during May 2005. Results were available in mid-June 2005 on the company's Website.

In all 21,100 people responded to the survey. It covered 38 markets in all regions of the world.

South Africa's index score was 104, enough to beat countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Japan - all known for their sophisticated, highly developed consumer markets.

When asked about how the South African economy performed in the previous six months, nearly two-thirds of consumers questioned said that they believed the economy had improved. This compares with the 38 market average of 28 percent.

In terms of the coming 12 months, about 60 percent of South African consumers felt that the local economy will improve further. Only consumers from China and Hong Kong had stronger feelings about their...

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