MORE Filipino households are saving, but those with bank accounts declined, a survey by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed.
According to its quarterly Consumer Expectations Survey, 36.6 percent of households have savings, up from the 32.8 percent in the previous quarter.
However, respondents with bank accounts declined in the first quarter. For the first quarter of 2019, 63.9 percent had bank accounts, down from the 68 percent the previous quarter.
The percentage of respondents who reported that they could set aside money for savings grew to 41 percent, from 40.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. But those who could set aside 10 percent or more of their monthly gross family income was lower at 31.5 percent, from 32.8 percent the previous quarter.
Respondents said they save money for emergencies, health and hospitalization, education, retirement, business capital and investment, and purchase of real estate.
The survey found that 43.3 percent kept their savings at home, while 27.4 percent put their money in cooperatives, credit/loan associations and as investment in microfinance, insurance and stocks.
Respondents that received OFW remittances consisted of 443 households.
Of this number, 95.5 percent used the remittances they received to buy food and other household needs, a decrease from 98.3 percent in the previous quarter.
The proportion of OFW households that allotted part of their remittances for education (65.7 percent), medical expenses (46.3 percent), savings (33 percent), debt payments (21.4 percent), purchase of house (10.2 percent) and investment (3.8 percent) decreased, compared to the previous quarter’s survey results.
The percentage of OFW households that set aside their remittances to buy appliances/consumer durables (19.2 percent), cars/motor vehicles (10.2 percent) and other miscellaneous expenses (3.8 percent) increased.
“This is consistent with the more favorable nationwide buying conditions for the said big ticket items,” the BSP said in its report.
The survey results also showed that consumers anticipated inflation to increase, interest rates to go up and the peso to depreciate for the next 12 months.
Consumers who expected inflation to go up continued to outnumber those that held the opposite view for the next 12 months, but the number that said so declined from that of a quarter ago.
However, respondents expected that the rate of increase in commodity prices will breach the upper end of the government’s two to four percent inflation target range for 2019, at 4.7 percent, over the course of the next 12 months, but lower than the anticipated 5.1 percent in the previous survey.
Fewer respondents expect interest rates to increase and the peso to depreciate. While respondents anticipated unemployment to increase, the number that said so declined.
Almost one-third or 30.7 percent (1,655 households) of the respondents declared that they have an outstanding loan at present. The debt-to-income ratio of surveyed respondents rose to 37.9 percent for the current quarter, higher compared to the previous quarter’s survey results of 24.3 percent.
The average principal loan of respondents is P79,973, less than the previous quarter’s result at P89,486.
However, average monthly loan amortization for the current quarter increased to P17,595, from P10,070 in the last quarter of 2018. Majority or 77.4 percent of loans were paid on schedule while 6.2 percent paid their loans ahead of the due date. About 16 percent were behind on their payments.
On average, respondents paid an annual interest rate of 33 percent, higher than the previous quarter’s 30.9 percent.
Majority (70.5 percent) of those with loans preferred to avail themselves of cash loans while 11.6 percent have loan in kind, particularly food items. Those with salary loans made up 8.7 percent. (MEA)