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Philippine, Malaysia consumer confidence continues uptrend

Publication Date : 25-07-2014


While consumer confidence across a number of Southeast Asian markets has experienced a minor decline in the second quarter of 2014, the Philippines remains bullish, jumping four points in the latest quarter, according to the latest Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending released by market research firm Nielsen.

The survey revealed that, amid escalating political instability and rising food prices around Southeast Asia, only the Philippines and Malaysia saw increases in confidence between the first and second quarters.

The Philippines jumped four points to 120—the third highest score globally—and Malaysia was up one point to 93. Four of the six Southeast Asian markets covered in the survey showed confidence levels declining between the first and second quarters of 2014, with Thailand posting the region’s largest decline, down three points quarter-on-quarter to 105.

 Indonesia’s confidence index score was the second highest globally despite dropping one point to 123 points in Q2 2014, while Vietnam and Singapore also dropped one point quarter-on-quarter, both posting a score of 98 points.

The survey, established in 2005, measures consumer confidence, major concerns, and spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 60 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.

Globally, consumer confidence rose slightly to 97 points in the second quarter, up one point compared to the first quarter.

Job security, work life balance, and health are the top concerns for Filipinos while political stability and food prices feature prominently in other Southeast Asian consumers’ list of key concerns in the second quarter.

“The Philippines is showing quarter-on-quarter increase in consumer confidence which is largely driven by a strong economy and its growing middle class population,” said Nielsen Philippines managing director Stuart Jamieson.

Even if Filipino consumers continue to exhibit a positive outlook, they are consistently prudent with their funds. Filipino consumers join consumers from other Southeast Asia markets in channeling money into savings, when asked how they utilise their spare cash after covering essential living expenses.

Eighty percent of consumers in Philippines perceive the state of their personal finances over the next 12 months as good or excellent, following 85 per cent of Indonesian consumers.

Consumers in Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia were less optimistic—62 per cent of Thais perceive the state of the personal finances over the next 12 months to be good or excellent, as do 55 per cent in Singapore, 53 per cent in Vietnam and 50 percent in Malaysia, compared to 56 per cent globally.

Thai consumers are the most committed in Southeast Asia in keeping an eye on their household expenses—92 per cent have changed their spending in the past year to save on household expenses.


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