More Pinoy consumers are saving for the future


Posted at May 05 2014 01:02 PM | Updated as of May 05 2014 09:05 PM

PH consumer confidence third highest in the world

MANILA, Philippines – More and more Filipinos are being more aware of the importance of saving for the future using investment vehicles, the latest Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending showed.

The Nielsen survey showed that 69 percent of Filipino consumers said they are putting their spare cash into savings in the first quarter of this year, up 1 percentage point compared to the previous quarter.

The study also revealed that 26 percent of Filipino consumers are looking to invest spare cash in shares of stock or mutual fund, also up 1 percentage point from the last quarter of 2013.

Eleven percent of Filipino consumers, meanwhile, are allocating spare cash to retirement funds, 3 percentage points up from the previous quarter.

“Filipino consumers are becoming diligent in managing their finances and are conscientious savers,” said Nielsen Philippines managing director Stuart Jamieson.

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

Spending habits

According to the Nielsen survey, most Filipino consumers have also changed spending habits over the past 12 months to save on household expenses.

In the Philippines, 80 percent of consumers are inclined to limit their household expenses.

Fifty-nine percent of Filipino consumers have also reduced spending on new clothes to improve household savings.

“The focus to reduce household expenses is consistent with the focus on saving for the future. Consumers remain cautious with their spending and are prepared to change their spending habits in order to improve their finances and secure their future,” said Jamieson.

To save on household expenses, Filipino consumers are also trying to save on gas and electricity, and delaying upgrading on technology.

Jamieson noted, however, that despite the tendency of Filipinos to save for a rainy day, some Filipino consumers are still willing to spend on holidays and home entertainment.

The study showed that for the first quarter of 2014, 30 percent of Filipino consumers said they would spend spare cash on travel or vacation while 14 percent would spend spare cash on home entertainment.

These numbers are up 2 points and 3 points from the last quarter of 2013, respectively.

Consumer confidence post-Yolanda

The Nielsen survey said the Philippines still holds its second place spot in Southeast Asia and third globally as home to confident consumers despite the effects of typhoon “Yolanda” in the last quarter of 2013.

The Philippines scored 116 points in the confidence index, second only to Indonesia which recorded the highest confidence index score globally at 124 points in the first quarter of 2014.

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

Consumers’ perceptions of their personal finances for 2014 also improved, the study revealed.

Globally, Filipino consumers are the second most positive about their personal finances with 79 percent, saying that the state of their personal finances over the coming 12 months is “good/excellent.”

Indonesians remain the most positive about their financial status with 83 percent.

Established in 2005, the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, measures consumer confidence, major concerns, and spending intentions amongst 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.