PH consumers 2nd most optimistic globally
Filipinos also most positive about local job prospectsBy Daxim L. Lucas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Filipino consumers are the second-most optimistic in the world when it comes to confidence to spend, while simultaneously showing a greater consciousness about saving for the future, a new survey showed.
In its latest consumer confidence report for the second quarter of 2013, international market research firm Nielsen said that Filipinos now ranked second in the world when it came to consumer confidence, next only to consumers from neighboring Asean giant Indonesia.
The survey revealed that the Philippines recorded a three-point increase with an index of 121, the highest consumer confidence index for the Philippines since the fourth quarter of 2010 when the index was reported at 120.
“The high confidence levels continue to sweep across Southeast Asian consumers compared to the rest of the world,” said Nielsen Philippines managing director Stuart Jamieson. “Similar to its neighbors in Southeast Asia, foreign investments are coming in and a growing number of consumers are entering the middle class in the Philippines, driving the positive outlook we are observing.”
The Philippines followed Indonesia, which had an index of 124 in the second quarter of 2013—up two points from the previous quarter and 30 points above the global average of 94. Thailand and Malaysia were also featured among the world’s most optimistic nations despite recording slight declines.
According to the survey, Filipino respondents were also the most positive about local job prospects over the next 12 months with 77 percent describing employment prospects as excellent or good. This made Filipino consumers the most optimistic in the world on local job prospects followed by Indonesia (75 percent) and India (72 percent).
Filipino consumer perception of personal finances for the year ahead has remained relatively stable over the past four quarters, mimicking the general trend across Southeast Asia.
Filipinos at 79 percent followed the Indonesians, who have the most optimistic view on their financial position with 84 percent saying their personal finances were good/excellent—the highest in the world for the second quarter of 2013 and 30 points above the global benchmark of 54.
According to Nielsen, 51 percent of Filipino respondents indicated that spending on items wanted or needed over the next 12 months would be good or excellent.
While Filipino respondents showed a great readiness to spend, 70 percent said they saved their spare cash, making them among the world’s biggest savers.
Filipinos joined an all-Asian list of the top 10 savers in the world, the survey showed. Indonesians topped the list with 71 percent of respondents who said that they saved after covering essential items. Others on the list were consumers from Hong Kong (70 percent), Vietnam (68 percent), Thailand (63 percent), China, Japan, Taiwan and Malaysia (61 percent) and Singapore (60 percent).
“Despite the general optimism that Filipinos are feeling, they are still protecting themselves against future fluctuations in the global economy and other external factors,” Jamieson said. “The increase in disposal income gives them opportunities to consider augmenting their savings and investing in mutual funds.”
Nineteen percent of Filipino respondents also said they used their spare cash to invest in shares and mutual funds, which was at par with the global average. Compared to their Southeast Asian peers, Filipinos were behind Indonesians who were well above the global average at 33 percent, Malaysia (30 percent), India (25 percent), Singapore and Thailand (24 percent).