Filipinos willing to spend but fear job cuts
MANILA, Philippines - Consumer confidence remains strong in the country, but many Filipinos fear for their jobs, a Nielsen survey showed Tuesday, February 5.
The Philippines' consumer confidence index stood at 119 points in the fourth quarter of 2012, a point higher than in the third quarter, according to the latest Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions. This could be attributed to the strong performance of the economy, particularly the real estate, construction, manufacturing, services and trade sectors, noted Nielsen.
But the survey also found that job security was the main concern of Filipinos in the period. Fifty percent of respondents also felt the economy was in recession in the last quarter of 2012, lower than the 56% in the third quarter.
Nevertheless, while the respondents were worried about their tenure, they were optimistic about the availability of jobs in the coming months. Seventy-six percent of respondents said employment opportunities would be good or excellent in the next 12 months.
Other concerns included work-life balance, health, parents' welfare and happiness, and increasing utility bills.
About 77% of respondents meanwhile were confident about their personal finances. Around 51% of them said they would buy things they wanted and needed over the next 12 months.
Nielsen survey also showed that:
- 65% were putting spare cash into their savings
- 21% were investing in shares of stock/mutual funds
- 35% were purchasing new technology products
- 34% were buying new clothes
- 27% were paying credit and debut cards
- 28% increased their spending for holidays/vacations
- 18% increased their out-of-home entertainment
Globally, Nielsen said consumer confidence declined in 33 countries, remained flat in 6, and increased in 19, from the third quarter of 2012.
Consumer confidence fell in 8 of 14 Asia-Pacific markets in the fourth quarter, with 4-point declines in Hong Kong and Taiwan. But the region reported the highest consumer confidence scores overall.
India topped the global list with an index of 121, an increase of two points from last quarter, followed by the Philippines with 119 and Indonesia, which declined two points to a score of 117. China increased two index points to a score of 108, while Thailand (115) and Malaysia (103) also scored above the baseline of 100.
Nielsen explained that consumer confidence levels above 100 indicate optimism, and those below indicate pessimism.
The survey, established in 2005, measures consumer confidence, major concerns, and spending intentions among more than 29,000 respondents with Internet access in 58 countries. - with reports from Cai Ordinario/ Rappler.com