Filipino consumers more wary about spending in 2nd quarter
MANILA -Households are less optimistic about the current quarter but are more optimistic about the next 12 months as they anticipate a seesaw of challenges related to inflation, income and job prospects, the Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.
This latest CES was conducted Jan. 19 to Jan. 31 with a sample drawn from the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Master Sample of Households—considered a representative sample of families across the country.
The survey covered 5,467 households, of which half is based in Metro Manila and the other half outside the national capital region.
Findings show lower but still positive consumer confidence index (CI) numbers regarding the second quarter at 7.5 percent from 9.5 percent in the previous survey done during the fourth quarter of last year.
The CI is computed as the percentage of respondents that answered in the affirmative less the percentage of households that answered in the negative, with respect to their views on a given indicator.
The BSP said the dampened outlook on the current quarter was based on expectations of a faster increase in the prices of goods, higher household expenses, lower income and high unemployment rate.
Results also reflected consumers’ confidence on the effectiveness of government policies and programs on targeted social support as well as importation of major food items.
On the other hand, the overall consumer outlook on the next 12 months was “marginally” better at 22.7 percent compared to 21.7 percent the fourth-quarter 2022 readout.
This, in turn, was supported by respondents’ overall expectations of more available jobs, stable prices of goods, additional sources of income and effective implementation of government policies and programs that are meant to ease inflation on basic commodities and to provide help against inflation to low-income households.
“However, the general optimism of consumers was somewhat mitigated by a subset of respondents who were less upbeat amid their continuing concerns over higher household expenses,” the BSP said in a statement.
In terms of the outlook on spending on goods and services for the April-June quarter, this index is “steady” at 39.2 percent compared to 39.1 percent in the previous survey.
“This indicates that respondents who expect to spend more on basic goods and services continued to outnumber those who said [they expected to spend less],” the BSP said.
On buying big-ticket items like motor vehicles and consumer durables as well as houses and lots in the second quarter, households were less pessimistic with the index improving to -72.8 percent from -74.5 percent.
On big-ticket spending in the next 12 months, consumers’ pessimism was “steady” at -74.9 percent from -74.7 percent. INQ