Filipino consumers lead in optimism in Southeast Asia
Filipino consumers are the most confident in Southeast Asia and show the second highest optimism globally in the second quarter with an index score of 122, surpassing the global consumer confidence score of 96 points, according to the Nielsen’s second quarter Consumer Confidence Index.
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 60 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.
While confidence levels in Southeast Asia remain relatively high, the Philippines was the only market where consumer sentiment increased in the past quarter, gaining seven points to rise to a score of 122—the country’s highest level on record. In contrast, Vietnam (104) reported Southeast Asia’s biggest quarterly decline in confidence (down 8 points) followed by Malaysia (89), which dropped five points from the first quarter. Despite the declines, the Philippines, Indonesia (120), Thailand (111) and Vietnam remain among the top 10 most optimistic markets globally.
“An upsurge of revenues from the strong business process outsourcing industry, an upswing in the construction sector, and strong consumption spending levels are fuelling growth in the country,” said Stuart Jamieson, managing director, Nielsen Philippines. “Fast-moving consumer goods sales are up 9.8% Jan-May 2015 from last year, with growth across all retail channels.”
Consumers in the Philippines likewise expressed optimism in local job prospects (75%, up two percentage points from the previous quarter) and their personal finances (81%, +4 percentage points from Q1) in the next 12 months, the only market in Southeast Asia to show improvement in confidence levels.
WORK/LIFE BALANCE IS TOP CONCERN
While across the region consumers continue to flag the state of the economy as one of their major concerns over the coming six month, Filipino consumers rank work/life balance as their top concern followed by job security.
BIG ON SAVING
Filipino consumers along with their Southeast Asian counterparts continue to be among the world’s most conscientious savers. Consumers in Vietnam are the biggest savers globally (73%), consumers from the Philippines (72%) and Indonesia (69%) rank second and third and those from Singapore and Thailand (66%) tie in fifth place while consumers from Malaysia take the sixth spot globally.
While Filipino consumers remain conscientious toward securing their finances, 34% (+7 from Q1) revealed that after covering essential living expenses, they will spend on holidays, while 29% (+2 from Q1) will use spare cash on home improvements and 13% (+1) on out-of-home entertainment.
“With an increasingly buoyant consumer confidence, consumer spending continues to get momentum, including discretionary spending particularly on vacations and out-of-home entertainment,” Jamieson concluded.
This article is based on insights contained in the Q2 2015 Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Report. Click ‘Request Report Download’ to access the complete global report.
ABOUT THE GLOBAL SURVEY OF CONSUMER CONFIDENCE AND SPENDING INTENTIONS
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted May 11-29, 2015 and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on its Internet users and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers. It has a margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behaviour of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China. The sub-Saharan African countries in this study are compiled from a separate mobile methodology survey among 1,600 respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.