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Philippine consumer confidence rose in Q1

Publication Date : 06-05-2014


Three months after Super Typhoon Yolanda (international code name: Haiyan), Filipino consumers had regained their buying appetite, and had held on to second place in Southeast Asia when it comes to consumer confidence, a newly released survey by market research firm Nielsen indicated.

The latest Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence also revealed that Filipinos felt more confident about their personal finances and were more aware of the need to save. In the first quarter of 2014, they channeled their spare cash into savings, shares of stock, mutual funds and their retirement fund, according to the survey.

"Consumer confidence level in the Philippines climbed three months after Yolanda to consistently hold its second-place ranking in Southeast Asia since 2012,” said Nielsen Philippines managing director Stuart Jamieson.

30,000 respondents

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 60 countries.

After suffering a slight dip in the aftermath of the super typhoon, Filipinos continued to be one of the most optimistic consumer groups in Southeast Asia, second only to consumers from regional powerhouse Indonesia, Jamieson said.

In the latest edition of the Nielsen survey, the Philippines held steady at second place in Southeast Asia and third globally as home to confident consumers, with 116 points. This represented a two-point increase from the slight dip (-4) in the last quarter of 2013, immediately after the typhoon that devastated Eastern and Central Visayas.

“Encouragingly, consumers continue to feel confident and optimistic despite some uncertainty due to the effects of the super typhoon,” Jamieson added. “This has resulted in a stronger index score.”

Indonesia recorded the highest confidence index score globally at 124 points in the first quarter of 2014, a level that was unchanged from the previous quarter. Thailand also remained positive at 108 points, down one index point from the previous quarter.

Personal finances

As consumer confidence level increased in Q1 2014, so did their perception of their personal finances for the year ahead, Nielsen pointed out.

“Globally, Filipino consumers are the second most positive about their personal finances with 79 per cent (up 3 points), saying that the state of their personal finances over the coming 12 months is good or excellent, while Indonesians are most positive about their financial status with 83 per cent,” the firm said in a statement.

Despite feeling more confident about spending, Filipinos also exhibited a higher awareness of the need to save, the media research firm said.
In the Philippines, 69 per cent of consumers said they were channeling their spare cash into savings during the first quarter of 2014, up 1 percentage point against the last quarter of 2013.

But the Vietnamese remained the most prolific savers, with 77 per cent putting their spare cash into savings, 30 percentage points above the global average of 47 per cent.

Conscientious savers

More significantly, Filipino consumers said they were investing their spare cash in shares of stock or mutual funds, with 26 per cent of respondents saying so, up 1 percentage point from the fourth quarter of 2013.

Meanwhile, 11 per cent of Filipino consumer/respondents said they allocated spare cash into their retirement fund, up three points from the final quarter of last year.
“Filipino consumers are becoming diligent in managing their finances and are conscientious savers,” Jamieson said.

“As consumers become more aware of the importance of preparing for the future and the (growing) availability of savings and investment vehicles, they are looking to tap into these vehicles as a means of maximising their future financial outlook and planning for their global years,” Jamieson added.


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