THE number of Filipino households with savings rose to a record high in the first quarter of 2015 based on the latest Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
According to the survey, 31.6 percent of 5,818 households surveyed said they had savings during the quarter, up from 25.7 percent in the previous quarter.
More than two-thirds, or 68.5 percent, said they save in banks, 39 percent kept their savings at home, while the rest put their money in cooperatives, paluwagan (rotating savings and credit association) and other credit/loan associations.
Respondents said their savings were intended for emergencies; education; health and hospitalization; retirement; and business capital and investment.
Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents who reported that they were able to set aside money for savings during the quarter also reached an all-time high of 40.9 percent from 35.6 percent in the previous quarter.
On the other hand, the survey also showed that the proportion of Filipinos willing to save 10 percent or more of their monthly income declined to 36.2 percent in the first quarter compared to 38 percent in the previous quarter.
OFW households with savings drop
The CES also revealed that the number of households with savings from remittances received from relatives abroad dropped in the first quarter.
Of the 602 households polled, the percentage of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) households that used their remittances for savings fell to 39.4 percent from 42.1 percent in the fourth quarter.
The survey showed that 98.5 percent of OFW households used the remittances that they received to purchase food and other needs.
More than half, or 56.6 percent, of the OFW households allocated part of their remittances for medical expenses while 41.9 percent went to debt payments and 65.6 percent to education.
The survey also showed that respondents’ outlook on buying conditions for big-ticket items increased to a record high during the quarter.
The survey said the percentage of households that considered the current quarter as a favorable time to buy big-ticket items increased to an all-time high of 28.4 percent.
“The outlook on buying conditions for real estate was the most optimistic, followed by consumer durables [appliances and gadgets]and motor vehicles, which all posted record-high indices since the first quarter of 2007,” it stated.
The CES said respondents’ outlook was driven by the view that: a piece of real property is a good investment; consumer durables are affordable; and motor vehicles can be utilized both for business and for personal use.
Respondents also cited cheaper oil prices as a reason for buying motor vehicles.
The CES is a quarterly survey of households drawn from the Philippine Statistics Authority-National Statistics Office’s Master Sample List of Households, which is considered a representative sample of households nationwide.
The survey was conducted from January 26 to February 5, 2015 and surveyed 5,818 households nationwide.