Consumer confidence eased in Q3 on Marawi crisis, higher prices of basic goods
More Filipino consumers remained optimistic even as their confidence during the third quarter was tempered due to the continuous crisis in Marawi City as well as higher prices of basic goods, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said Friday.
The BSP’s consumer expectations survey (CES) for the third quarter showed that the overall confidence index (CI) declined to 10.2 percent from the record-high 13.1 percent in the second quarter.
The still positive CI nonetheless meant that optimistic consumers outnumbered pessimists.
The third-quarter CI remained the second highest reading since the CES was first conducted in 2007.
BSP data showed that each of the first five quarters of the Duterte administration posted a positive CI, while all the other CIs prior to the third quarter of 2016 were all negative.
In a statement, the BSP said survey respondents attributed their weaker optimism during the July to September period to the following: peace and order problems, specifically the fighting between government forces and ISIS supporters in Marawi; expectations of higher prices of basic commodities, which could jack up household expenditures; anticipated low or no increase in incomes; as well as an expected rise in the number of the unemployed.
Also, respondents blamed their less favorable third-quarter outlook to the onslaught of natural calamities and poor health conditions during the period, the BSP said.
But for the upcoming fourth quarter, consumers were much more bullish, as the CI for October to December jumped to 17.8 percent from 13.6 percent during the previous quarter’s survey.
“Respondents’ more optimistic outlook for the next quarter stemmed from expectations of additional income and salary increase, improvement in peace and order, and availability of more jobs” amid the Christmas holiday season, according to the BSP.
The BSP conducted the CES for the third quarter of 2017 from July 1 to 15. JPV
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