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Southeast Asia’s Emerging Markets End 2016 With Most Positive Consumer Sentiments
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Southeast Asia’s Emerging Markets End 2016 With Most Positive Consumer Sentiments

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Three countries in the emerging markets of Southeast Asia finished 2016 with higher consumer confidence scores than the start of the year, with the biggest increase in the Philippines (13 points), according to the latest Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions.

Consumer sentiments in Thailand showed a five-point rise in the last quarter of 2016 compared to the beginning of the year while Vietnam bounced with a three-point increase.

Established in 2005, the Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index is fielded quarterly in 63 countries to measure the perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances, immediate spending intentions and related economic issues of real consumers around the world. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively.

Regionally, all three confidence indicators showed increases compared to the start of the year. Sentiments in immediate spending intentions jumped five percentage points to 52% in Southeast Asia from the first quarter. Positive sentiment in the Philippines indicated a rise of eight percentage points to 60%, while Thailand saw confidence improve by three percentage points to 49% and Vietnam down one percentage to end the year with 49% optimism.

Confidence in local job prospects was up three percentage points in Southeast Asia to 66% in the last quarter versus beginning of the year. Job optimism increased most in the Philippines, jumping 15 percentage points to 87% while in Thailand positive sentiments grew by five percentage points to 61% and in Vietnam a slight dip of three percentage points to 65%.

Favorable sentiment about personal finances rose two percentage points in the region, with Thailand showing the most improvement in confidence with seven percentage points to 65% while optimism rose five percentage points to 86% for the Philippines and up two percentage points for Vietnam to 65%.

Where do Southeast Asian consumers dedicate spare cash?

Southeast Asian consumers continue to be among the world’s most keen savers with more than two thirds (68%) planning to channel their spare cash into savings, compared to 50% globally. Consumers in the emerging markets in the region indicated willingness to spend their spare cash on vacations and holidays, new clothes and home improvements.

For more details and insights, download Nielsen’s Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending report.