But the central bank's latest consumer confidence survey showed that the overall index remained in the positive territory since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in June 2016.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday, September 8 reported that overall consumer index declined to 10.2% in the 3rd quarter this year, after hitting an all-time high of 13.1% in the 2nd quarter of 2017. (READ: Business confidence in PH plunges to 3-year low)
"The lower but positive confidence index indicates that the number of optimists declined but continued to outnumber the pessimists," Rosabel Guerrero, director at the BSP's Department of Economic Statistics, said.
Guerrero said consumers' less favorable outlook for the current quarter was due to the anticipated higher prices of commodities; peace and order problems, particularly the Marawi crisis; low or no increase in income; expected higher number of unemployed Filipinos; occurence of calamities; as well as poor health arising from the avian flu scare.
Still 2nd highest
Despite the decline, the BSP executive said the current quarter's results remain the second highest since the survey was launched in 2007. It was only in the 3rd quarter of 2016 when the overall consumer index turned positive at 2.5%.
For the 4th quarter of the year, BSP said consumer sentiment turned more upbeat as the index increased to 17.8%.
Respondents' more optimistic outlook for the next quarter stemmed from expectations of additional income and salary increase, improvement in peace and order, and availability of more jobs.
BSP's consumer confidence is measured across 3 component indicators, namely: the country’s economic condition, family financial situation, and family income.
The survey for the second quarter was conducted between July 1 and 15 covering 5,430 respondents.
BSP officer-in-charge Diwa Guinigundo said the 3rd quarter results are reflective of the actual gross domestic product (GDP) growth and inflation.
"It will remain resilient and relatively robust compared to previous years," Diwa said of the country's economic growth.
Duterte's economic team retained the GDP growth target at 6.5% to 7.5% this 2017 and 7% to 8% in 2018. – Rappler.com