PH consumer sentiment improves in 3rd quarter

Posted at 09/14/12 8:02 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Consumer sentiment in the Philippines is still negative in the third quarter, but it showed an improvement from previous quarters, as Filipino consumers appeared to be growing optimistic about the economy.

Filipinos walk in the streets of the financial district in Makati, August 30, 2012. / REUTERS

Based on the latest Consumer Expectation Survey by the Bangko Setnral ng Pilipinas, the consumer confidence index stood at -13.3% in the third quarter. This was still better than the -19.5% in the previous quarter, and -18.7% during the same period last year.

The consumer confidence index is computed by getting the difference between the percentage of optimistic respondents and those who were pessimistic.

"The improvement in the index meant that the percentage of optimists rose, but that they were still outnumbered by the pessimists," Rosabel Guerrero, BSP director for economic statistics, said on Friday.
Guerrero said the survey showed consumer sentiment is positive in the next quarter and next 12 month indices.

The latest next quarter index, or the outlook of respondents on their own financial standing and the economy’s performance for the coming quarter, reached +6%. This was an improvement from the -2.4% in the previous quarter.

The next 12 months index stood at +16.2%, an improvement from the +10% in the previous quarter and the +11.7% a year ago.

BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Gunigundo said the positive indices for the next quarter and next 12 months indicate a possible rise in consumer spending. He noted this bodes well for the economy, since it is expected to be boosted by household consumption.

The positive outlook for the next few months is attributed to optimism that the economy will continue to grow, create jobs and boost household incomes.

The BSP's latest CES was conducted from July 2 to 13 nationwide, covering 5,604 households.