The Singapore Q4 confidence index has declined to 94, slightly lower than the global average of 97, according to the latest Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending. Singaporeans have remained among the top savers and investors in the world.
“As tepid global demand continued to influence a weaker manufacturing sector in Q4 2015 and an expected modest economic growth in 2015, Singaporeans have adopted a cautionary approach in their spending,” said Joan Koh, Managing Director, Singapore and Malaysia, Nielsen. “Singaporeans have also demonstrated a keen prudence for financial security and protection as savings and investments continued to be a priority over the last few quarters.”
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 above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.
GROWING APPRENSION OVER THE ECONOMY
Singaporeans have displayed signs of apprehension as sentiments continued to grow in Q4 2015 (40%, as compared to 30% in Q3 2015). Job security (30%) and the economy (30%) have sustained to be the top major concerns to locals.
“The slowdown in China has a direct and broad-based impact on businesses and jobs in Singapore as China is the largest export destination for the nation,” added Joan. “Layoffs in the financial sector due to a changing business environment, weak macro economy and higher costs have also added to the rising concerns of job security and a lacklustre economy."
In view of the situation, consumers have cut back on lifestyle expenses including shopping for new clothes (62%), holidays and short breaks (50%), and out-of-home entertainment (47%). Locals are also switching to cheaper grocery brands (43%) and saving on gas and electricity (41%).
Respondents have also indicated that they will continue to reduce their discretionary spending when times are better, especially on buying new clothes (36%), expenditures on gas and electricity (29%) and splurging on out-of-home entertainment (27%).
SINGAPORE ARE STILL THE WORLD'S TOP SAVERS AND INVESTORS
Conversely, Singaporeans have maintained a strong position in safeguarding their financial protection for the days ahead. 64% of the locals will put their money into savings, while three in 10 Singaporeans (30%) have invested in shares and mutual funds. One in four locals (25%) will top up their retirement funds to ensure a comfortable retirement in their golden years. Singaporeans are also among the top savers and investors globally as indicated in the global survey.
“Our findings continue to reveal that Singaporeans have displayed a strong desire to ensure financial security through savings and investments regardless of a rainy day,” noted Joan “In addition, Singapore has an aging population and it is a wise choice to plan early for the retirement nest egg.”
For more details and insights, please download Nielsen's Q4 2015 Global Consumer Confidence Report.
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted Nov 2-25, 2015 and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 61 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America, including 500 respondents from Singapore. 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 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.