MANILA -- Consumer confidence slightly improved in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the second quarter, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said on Friday.
The overall confidence index (CI) was at -9.6 percent from -10.5 percent from April to June, according to the BSP's Q3 Consumer Expectations Survey (CES).
The BSP said consumers were more optimistic because of more available jobs and permanent employment, higher income from wages, remittances, and other sources, and having more working family members.
Buyers were also less hesitant about buying big-ticket items from July to September -- the consumer sentiment on big-ticket purchases was at -62.7 percent, from -67.7 percent in the second quarter.
For the last three months of the year, consumers are more optimistic, with the CI going up to 7.8 percent from 4.6 percent a quarter ago.
Consumer confidence for the next 12 months, however, went down to 18.9 percent from 20.5 percent in the second quarter of the year.
The BSP noted that consumer outlook remains mixed nationwide: buyers are less pessimistic about the country’s economic condition, but more pessimistic for the family’s financial situation.
Those in the low-income and high-income groups also have a less optimistic outlook, while those in the middle class are more pessimistic.
The percentage of households with loans grew--from 24.8 percent in the second quarter of 2023, to 26.6 in the third quarter.
The percentage of households with savings also rose to 32.8 percent, from 30.2 percent from April to June.
Consumers expect higher inflation, interest and unemployment rates, and a weaker peso in the third quarter.