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Confident PH consumers ready for retail therapy

/ 05:30 AM April 09, 2022

Eager to move on from the pandemic, Filipino consumers were raring to spend more on retail shopping and “large” items such as cars and appliances on expectations they would earn more over the next year, a new survey showed.

Data from the Q1 2022 Consumer Pulse Study by insights company TransUnion revealed a shift in spending priorities as the Philippine economy further reopened early this year.

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“From optimism about improved household incomes to anticipated increased spending in key areas, Filipinos are increasingly bullish about our recovery from the global pandemic,” Pia Arellano, president and chief executive officer of TransUnion Philippines, said in a statement.

The study showed that more Filipinos (36 percent) saw household incomes improve in the past three months while 75 percent expected this to increase further in the next 12 months.

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Accordingly, a smaller number of respondents (45 percent from 52 percent last year) cut back on discretionary spending (dining out, travel and entertainment) while 16 percent (up 5 percentage points) added subscriptions of memberships.

More telling was how household spending would evolve over the next three months as more nonessential purchases are made.

“More respondents said they’ll increase their spending on retail shopping, discretionary personal spending, retirement funds and large purchases,” the study said, adding that each of the categories saw a 5 point increase from the first quarter of 2021.

A growing number of younger Filipino consumers also expected to pay for new purchases via credit, the study showed.

From nearly half of the respondents who are planning to apply for credit in the next year (46 percent), half of them are younger generation Filipinos (50 percent), the Gen Z.

TransUnion added that more than half (57 percent) of those with a credit score between 750 and 789 (considered a ‘very good’ score) said that they plan to apply for new credit.

The study also noted an uptick in online fraud as more Filipinos moved their transactions to online platforms.

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The most common schemes were phishing (42 percent), money/gift card (38 percent), third-party seller scams on legitimate online retail websites (30 percent), fundraising (25 percent), identity theft (23 percent) and having their account taken over (22 percent).

TransUnion surveyed 1,078 adults in the Philippines across all major age groups.

“By conducting this study quarterly and making the results public, TransUnion Philippines harnesses information and insights to provide a comprehensive understanding of the changing attitudes and situation in the country,” Arellano said.

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