Filipinos remain confident consumers coming into 2016, according to the latest Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending released by insights firm Nielsen. At the close of 2015, consumer confidence in the Philippines remained at 117 points, same as the third quarter. This is the highest index score in Southest Asia, and the second highest globally after India, which garnered 131 points.
The Nielsen consumer confidence index measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances, and immediate spending intentions, among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 61 countries. Consumer confidence levels that are above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.
Job prospects, personal finances
Stuart Jamieson, managing director of Nielsen in the Philippines, said that Filipino consumers have plenty of reasons to feel optimistic coming into the new year.
He cited the steep decline in unemployment levels during the last quarter of 2015, coupled with the stream of OFW (overseas Filipino workers) remittances and the additional income gained from Christmas bonuses and 13th month pays, as reasons to be optimistic about job prospects and personal finances.
Local job prospects for the next 12 months will be good or excellent said 74% of Filipino consumers surveyed, more optimistic compared to the global average of 48%. Almost eight in 10 (79%) of Filipino consumers surveyed said that their personal finances are in good standing, while 46% said that it's a good time to buy the things they want and need.
Willing to spend
While 65% of Filipino consumers surveyed give financial security high priority, which is why they also channel their spare cash into savings, they have also expressed their willingness to spend.
“The upbeat percept on personal finances, the country’s economy, and local job prospects encourages consumer spending on discretionary items,” noted Jamieson.
High on the shopping lists of Filipino consumers surveyed were holidays and vacations (27%); new technology products (25%); and out-of-home entertainment, such as watching movies, concerts, and other performing arts (14%).