Filipino consumer confidence surges to a five-point increase in Q4 2014, pushing the country to the number two spot with Indonesia as the most optimistic countries globally.
With an index score of 120 points, the Philippines reaped one of the largest quarterly increases globally (+5pp per last quarter). The Philippines now shares the second spot with Indonesia, with an index score of 120 in Q4 2014 (-5pp compared to previous quarter). India holds on to number one with 129 (+3), the highest index across the 60 countries measured. Thailand came in fifth with an index score of 111 (-2pp versus last quarter). Consumer confidence levels in Vietnam (106 points, +4pp) and Singapore (100 points, -3pp) also remain relatively strong. In contrast, consumer confidence in Malaysia stood at 89 points, which was down 10 percentage points on Q3, the largest quarter-on-quarter decline globally and seven points below the global average of 96 points.
SAVING AND INVESTMENT CONTINUE TO BE A PRIORITY
While 79% of Filipino respondents feel bullish about the state of their personal finances over the next 12 months and 50% perceive that it is a good time for people to buy the things that they want and need, Filipino consumers along with consumers across Southeast Asia continue to be among the world’s most avid savers. More than three in five Filipino respondents (63%) say they prioritize saving their spare cash, compared to 69% of consumers in the region and 43% globally. Consumers in Vietnam are the highest globally (77%) when it comes to savings, and Indonesia ranks third globally (70%). Consumers in Malaysia (67%), Thailand (63%) and Singapore (62%) follow closely.
Besides savings, consumers in Philippines (32%) along with those in Singapore (31%) are focused on clearing their debts and loans while about a third of Malaysians (33%), Indonesians (32%) and Thais (30%) are channelling their spare cash into stock/mutual funds.
While establishing financial security takes center stage for consumers in the Philippines consumers are spending to a degree. After putting spare cash into savings, 35% (-2) of Filipinos spend on new clothes, 32% on home improvements (+3), 29% on holidays (+1) and 29% new technology products (+1).
CONSUMERS READY TO ADJUST SPENDING HABITS TO IMPROVE HOUSEHOLD SAVING
At least eight in 10 consumers in the Philippines (80%) have adjusted their spending habits over the past 12 months in a bid to curb household spending. More than six in 10 consumers in Philippines (62%) are spending less on new clothing in their effort to reduce household expenses. Other areas where consumers are cutting back include saving on gas and electricity, delaying upgrading of technology, and switching to cheaper grocery brands.
While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration has not reached majority potential, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. Additionally, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data
In the latest online survey, conducted Nov. 10-28, 2014, consumer confidence increased in 17 of 60 markets measured by Nielsen (28%), compared with 39 markets (65%) in the third quarter. India’s score of 129, the highest index among 60 markets, increased three points from the third quarter. Italy reported the lowest score of 45, a quarterly decline of two points. Ireland (90) showed the biggest improvement, as confidence there rose six percentage points. Malaysia (89) logged the biggest decline, as confidence there fell 10 points from the previous quarter.