Globally, consumer confidence has remained stable in the first quarter of 2016 and below the optimism baseline at an index of 98. In Asia Pacific, consumer confidence varies among countries as scores declined in eight markets and rose in five. Locally, the Singapore Q1 2016 consumer confidence index has commenced on a subdued note of 88 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 63 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.
Factors such as a lukewarm global demand and continued news of lacklustre performance in multiple industries, including job cuts in the banking sector have caused Singaporeans to be more concerned about the cloudy days ahead.
MAJOR CONCERNS IN SINGAPOREANS
The economy (33%) and job security (32%) remained as the top major concerns to locals. Health (20%) and achieving a good work/life balance (19%) were also ranked highly on the list of concerns to Singaporeans.
SINGAPOREANS CONTINUED TO BE THE TOP SPENDERS IN HOLIDAYS/VACATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTS
The survey has indicated that Singapore was among the top 10 countries that spent on holidays/vacations (ranked 1st alongside China) and new technology products (9th globally) in Q1 2016.
However, consumers have reduced other household expenses such as shopping for new clothes (55% in Q1 2016 vs 62% in Q4 2015) and out-of-home entertainment (50%, no change vs Q4 2015). Locals have switched to cheaper grocery brands (44% in Q1 2016 vs 43% in Q4 2015) and delayed upgrades on technology products (such as personal computers, mobile) (38% in Q1 2016 vs 37% in Q4 2015).
Joan Koh, Managing Director, Singapore and Malaysia, Nielsen said, “Despite the gloomy outlook, Singaporeans are still spending on holidays and short getaways, and technology products. Also, the rising silver generation, growing e-Commerce and increasing emphasis on health and wellness among Singaporeans pose great opportunities for businesses to explore and cater to their needs.”
SINGAPOREANS ARE STILL THE WORLD’S TOP SAVERS AND INVESTORS
Survey findings revealed that Singaporeans have continued to place a strong emphasis on building their financial security. 67% of the locals will put their money into savings; while close to three in 10 Singaporeans (29%) have invested in shares and mutual funds. One in four locals (25%) will top up their retirement funds. Singaporeans are also among the top savers and investors globally as indicated in the global survey.
“Ensuring financial security through savings and investments remained a key priority for locals,” noted Joan. “Putting excess cash in these avenues and planning well for the future is an astute choice for many Singaporeans.”
To know more about the consumer confidence in countries around the world, download the Nielsen Q1 2016 Global Consumer Confidence Report.
ABOUT THE GLOBAL SURVEY OF CONSUMER CONFIDENCE AND SPENDING INTENTIONS
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted March 1–23, 2016, and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 63 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America. The sample includes Internet users who agreed to participate in this survey and has quotas based on age and sex for each country. It is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers by country. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. However, a probability sample of equivalent size would have a margin of error of ±0.6% at the global level. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior 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.