Filipino consumers 2nd most optimistic in the world - survey

Posted at 02/05/13 1:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Filipino consumers are the second most optimistic in the world, according to a global survey by Nielsen. 

The Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index showed India was still the most optimistic consumer market in the world in the fourth quarter of 2012. The Philippines ranked second, followed by Indonesia, Thailand and United Arab Emirates.

The Nielsen survey showed global consumer confidence dropped at the end of 2012, weighed down by US budget talks and euro zone crisis. More than 60 percent of respondents said the next 12 months would not be a good time to spend.

The survey showed consumers in the Asia Pacific were most upbeat but even there 59 percent said the next 12 months would not be a good time to spend.

The Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index dipped 1 point in the fourth quarter to 91, after rising 1 point in the third quarter, and was 2 points higher than a year earlier. 

A reading below 100 signals consumers are pessimistic about the outlook. Only 10 of the 58 markets surveyed reported a reading above 100.

"With continuing uncertainty concerning the United States debt ceiling and mandated spending cuts, along with as-yet tentative signs of economic stabilization in Europe, we can expect continued caution and moderate growth in the first quarter of 2013," said Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen.

"The major downside risk continues to be in Europe, where policy missteps within the European Union or within individual countries could damage fragile consumer confidence and take hold globally."

Confidence in China edged up slightly while Norway was the only developed market to be ranked among the top 10 most optimistic consumer markets globally. 

In the United States, confidence dipped slightly between the third and fourth quarters but job prospects improved. 

Since the survey was conducted U.S. lawmakers have reached a deal to avoid automatic tax rises and spending cuts, although they face more showdowns over fiscal measures in coming months, and economic data has pointed to a sluggish recovery. 

The Nielsen survey was conducted between Nov. 10-27, 2012 and covered more than 29,000 online consumers across 58 markets. - With Reuters