PH tops global consumer confidence survey
Filipino consumers have always felt positive enough to make major purchases in recent years, but never as optimistic as they are now.
For the first time in more than a decade, local buyers emerged as the most optimistic in the world during the second quarter of 2016, thanks mainly to improved confidence about their job prospects over the near term, according to the latest Nielsen global survey of consumer confidence and spending intentions.
This is the first time the Philippines topped the survey with its index score rising by 13 points since the previous period to 132, beating perennial topnotcher India where consumers’ average confidence level dropped by 6 points since the first quarter to 128.
“Confidence in the Philippines is at an all-time high and with a 6.9-percent gross domestic product growth rate in the first quarter, it’s one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia,” Nielsen Philippines managing director Stuart Jamieson said in a statement. “The Philippine economy relies heavily upon consumption and with sales of consumer goods growing rapidly at a 7.1-percent rate in the year ending May 2016, consumer spending remains robust.”
The market research firm noted that the increase in the confidence of Filipino consumers during the period also represented the biggest surge on a quarter-on-quarter basis among the 63 countries surveyed.
Of the three confidence indicators measured, job optimism increased the most, rising 16 percentage points to 88 percent in the second quarter. Responses from the Philippines also showed a rise of 10 percentage points in immediate-spending intentions (61 percent) and five percentage points in favorable sentiment about personal finances (86 percent), the company said.
“The promise of greater reforms during the recent presidential elections, which took place during the survey period, likely helped buoy positive consumer sentiment,” Jamieson added.
After the Philippines and India, Indonesia showed a two-point increase quarter-on-quarter with 119. Meanwhile, consumer confidence in the US—the world’s biggest consumer market—maintained a positive momentum in the second quarter, increasing three points to 113 from the previous quarter. Denmark’s score increased seven points to 112, representing a recovery from the five-point decline in the first quarter.
Other high-scoring Asian emerging markets included Vietnam (107, down 2), China (106, up 1) and Thailand (101, down 4). Malaysia —which is embroiled in a long-running domestic political crisis—was the only emerging market in the region with a below-the-baseline confidence score of 87, but that score represented an eight point increase in the second quarter.
The results of the Nielsen survey showed that Filipino consumers continued to be among the world’s most ardent savers with 65 percent of respondents saying they would save their spare cash.
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