BSP: PH consumer confidence improves in Q1


Posted at Mar 28 2014 05:46 PM | Updated as of Mar 29 2014 01:46 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino consumers are more upbeat in this quarter due to the positive outlook on jobs and investments compared to the previous quarter, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

According to BSP’s latest Consumer Expectations Survey, the confidence index increased to -18.8 percent this quarter from -21.3 percent in the previous quarter.

"Respondents attributed their favorable outlook to the availability of more jobs increase in the number of employed family members, more investment prospects, higher income, stronger business activity, and good harvests," BSP director for Economic Statistics Rosabel Guerrero said.

The negative index indicates that pessimists outnumber optimists during the period.

The overall consumer confidence is measured by the country’s economic conditions, family financial situation and family income.

The survey also showed that economy and family finances sentiments improved while confidence in family income remained steady.

The number of households with savings, meanwhile, climbed to 28.9 percent in the current quarter from 26.2 percent in the previous quarter.

"The percentage of households with savings increased among the middle- and the low-income groups but declined for the high-income group," Guerrero said.

"Respondents said they are setting aside some amount as savings for emergency, healthy and hospitalization, retirement, education, and business capital and investment," she added.

For the coming quarter, Guerrero said confidence was more bullish on all three indicators.

"Consumers cited the following reasons for their upbeat outlook: more financial support from family members as employment opportunities are expected to be better, continued implementation of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, and good governance," she said.

The outlook also slightly improved for real estate, considered as "good investments" by respondents.

Outlook was steady for consumer durables and motor vehicles.

The latest BSP survey was conducted from January 21 to February 3 covering 5,870 households, nearly half of which were from the National Capital Region.

The improved consumer confidence in the first quarter of the year was also seen in Germany, Indonesia, South Korea, and Taiwan.

However, the opposite was seen in Australia, China, Japan, Thailand, and the US.