PH consumers among world’s most optimisticBy Daxim L. Lucas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Filipino consumers remain the second most confident spenders in the world in the third quarter of 2013 despite a slight decline in overall optimism, according to the latest survey results of market research firm Nielsen.
Registering at 118 index points, the Philippines trails slightly behind Indonesia where bullish consumers gave the country 120 index points, making its consumers the most optimistic worldwide for the third consecutive quarter.
According to the survey, the outlook for employment declined in half of the Asia-Pacific markets measured, but Filipino survey respondents continued to indicate a positive attitude on local job prospects, registering the highest optimism in the world at 79 percent or a two-percentage point increase from the previous quarter.
The Philippines also showed a two-percentage point decrease in perception on the state of personal finances compared to the previous quarter, but remained the second most positive in the world with 77 percent.
“We expect the positive outlook of Filipinos to continue until the remaining months of 2013,” Nielsen Philippines managing director Stuart Jamieson said in a statement. “Consistent with the confidence findings, we see that consumers are planning to increase their spending across industries.”
According to the research firm, the positive sentiment among local consumers was consistent with the growing willingness of the local population to spend more for their purchases.
When asked about their perception of whether the next 12 months would be a good or bad time to buy the things they wanted and needed, Filipino respondents were among the top 10 respondents who felt optimistic at 49 percent.
After covering essential living expenses, 32 percent of Filipino respondents said they would spend on new clothes, holidays and vacations (25 percent) and pay off debt (28 percent).
Nielsen added that local consumers also remained enamored with technology products, with 29 percent saying they would spend their spare cash on gadgets.
“[The results] send an encouraging message to many retailers as they get ready for the end-of-year holiday season—a period that involves high consumption on travel, gifts, new clothes and entertainment,” Jamieson said.
Despite the optimism toward spending, Nielsen stressed that Filipinos continued to prioritize saving money.
Filipino respondents remained one of the world’s top 10 savers with 67 percent of respondents saying that they preferred to put spare cash into savings after covering essential living expenses.
Globally, respondents reported an increase in plans to save for the future, with 52 percent of those surveyed putting spare cash into savings and 25 percent investing in shares of stocks and mutual funds, an increase of 5 and 6 percentage points, respectively, compared to the previous quarter. Twenty-four percent of Filipino respondents joined an all-Asian list of investors with shares of stocks and mutual funds, the survey showed.
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was established in 2005 and measures consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access across 60 countries.
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