Consumer confidence rises in Q1
Although pessimists still outnumbered optimists among Filipino consumers, overall confidence reached a record high in the first quarter amid sustained economic growth.
The overall consumer index (CI) for the January-to-March period improved to -5.7 percent from -8.1 percent in the preceding quarter, results of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) latest Consumer Expectations Survey showed.
The first quarter CI matched the all-time high posted in the second quarter of 2013, the BSP said. The still negative CI nonetheless meant more consumers remained pessimistic.
According to the BSP, survey respondents attributed their higher confidence mainly to the availability of more jobs, more investors in the country and stable prices of commodities.
“The other factors cited by respondents that helped boost their confidence for the current quarter were oil price rollback, assistance from government such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), less corruption and anticipated election of new government officials,” the BSP added.
Consumers were also more optimistic for the rest of the year.
“For the next quarter (second quarter of 2016), consumer sentiment continued to be more favorable as the next quarter CI increased and remained in the positive territory at 9.1 percent (from 5.7 percent in the previous quarter’s survey), while the year-ahead CI rose to 25.4 percent (from 18 percent for fourth quarter of 2015),” the BSP said.
Over the next 12 months, “consumers were of the view that good governance and improvements in infrastructure and peace and order would continue,” according to the BSP.
Also, consumers “anticipated lesser household expenses as well as an increase in household income and savings, which could translate to growth in real income and higher purchasing power of the household” in the coming months.
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