PH consumer confidence improves in Q2

Posted at 06/13/14 6:18 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Consumer confidence in the country has improved in the second quarter due to positive outlook on employment and investments, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

In its latest Consumer Expectation Survey, the BSP said confidence index climbed to -17.3 percent from -18.8 percent.

But because the index remains in the negative, it means there are still more pessimists than optimists.

“Respondents attributed their more favorable outlook to availability of jobs as well as increase in the number of employed family members, increasing family income due to higher salary, strong business activity, and better harvest,” said BSP Economic Statistics director Rosabel Guerrero.

Guerrero said the improved confidence was also attributed to “stepped-up road infrastructure projects, more investment prospects in the country, and improvement of the peace and order situation.”

Improved confidence was also seen in Canada, Euro Area, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States.

Consumer sentiment for the next quarter, however, dropped to 0 percent from 5.4 percent.

Confidence index for the year ahead likewise went down to 15.9 percent from 19.3 percent.

“According to respondents, their less sanguine outlook stemmed from expectations of lower income due partly to poor harvests and slower business activities during the rainy season which could cause work interruptions,” Guerrero explained.

“They also cited as reasons for their less favorable outlook their expectations of higher household expenses and less job opportunities, consistent with their views of higher unemployment over the next 12 months,” she added.

The BSP survey also showed that the number of households with savings jumped to 30.3 percent in the second quarter from 28.9 percent in the first quarter.

Respondents in the survey also had a “positive spending outlook” on basic goods and services for the next quarter.

“Across commodity groups, fewer respondents expected higher spending on clothing and footwear, house rent, electricity, fuel, medical care, communication, restaurants and cafes, and personal care and effects,” Guerrero said.

However, more respondents are expecting an increase in food, water, and education expenses due to the opening of the school year.

The latest poll, which was conducted from April 1 to 12, surveyed 6,027 households, nearly half of which were from the National Capital Region.