Consumer confidence up-A A +A
Friday, September 14, 2012
FEWER Filipino households expect to spend more on goods and services in the last three months of the year compared to the current quarter, a survey showed.
“The spending outlook decreased for all commodities, except for hotel and restaurant services, which remained steady,” the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported.
However, the percentage of households that find the present quarter a favorable time to buy big-ticket items, like real estate, consumer durables and vehicles, increased.
The overall confidence index (CI) increased to -13.3 percent from -19.5 percent in April to June. The BSP said it was the second highest reading recorded since the nationwide Consumer Expectations Survey started in 2007.
The negative figure, however, means that respondents who are optimistic about the next quarter were outnumbered by those with a less rosy outlook.
Those with positive consumer expectations cited the greater availability of jobs both in the country and abroad, higher income and lower household expenses, and good harvests, the BSP said.
“In addition, consumers are equally optimistic that stable prices of goods and services will continue in the year ahead,” it added.
The survey measures consumer confidence based on respondents’ assessments of the country’s economic condition, the family’s financial situation and income.
The latest round of the Consumer Expectations Survey was conducted on July 2 to 13, 2012, among 5,604 households, of whom 2,991 (53.4 percent) were from Metro Manila.
The percentage of respondents that planned to buy big-ticket items remained unchanged in the National Capital Region during this survey, the BSP reported.
“Consumers had a more favorable view on the employment situation as the unemployment rate index dropped to 46.8 percent from 60.2 percent,” it said. Interest rates and inflation were also expected to decline in the next 12 months.
The survey also found that of the 486 households that received remittances from overseas workers, 96.7 percent listed food as their top expense item. About 74.9 percent said they also allocated part of the remittances for education. At least 67.1 percent said that they also used remittances for medical bills, while 51.4 percent used part of the amount to pay for debts.
“The percentage of OFW households that utilized their remittances for savings declined to 36.8 percent (from 44.5 percent in the second quarter),” the report said.
The BSP said a bigger portion of remittances could have been used by households for education, considering the school year opened in June.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 15, 2012.