The number of Filipino households with savings slightly declined in the third quarter of 2016, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) latest Consumer Expectations Survey (CES).
Only 33.1 percent of 5,810 households surveyed in July said they had saved some money, the central bank reported over the weekend, noting a dip from the 33.2 percent recorded in the previous quarter.
About two-thirds, or 66.5 percent, had bank accounts, and 42.6 percent said they kept their savings at home, with 27.2 percent put their money in cooperatives, paluwagan (rotating savings and credit association), other credit or loan associations, and investment.
The savings were intended for emergencies, education, health and hospitalization, retirement, and business capital and investment.
On the other hand, the percentage of respondents who said they were able to set aside some money for savings increased to 41.6 percent from 39.3 percent.
The proportion of Filipinos willing to save 10 percent or more of their monthly income was also higher at 40 percent from 36.9 percent.
The CES also revealed that households with savings from OFW remittances increased in the third quarter.
Of the 500 households surveyed that received remittances from an overseas Filipino worker family member, 39.6 percent used the money sent home from abroad for savings, which is higher than the 38.6 percent in the second quarter.
The survey also found out respondents expect inflation to remain low, interest rates to increase and the exchange rate to appreciate for the next 12 months.
Released on Friday by the central bank, the CES results also cited the perception of improved labor conditions next year with the unemployment index at its lowest reading since the survey started in the first quarter of 2007.
The unemployment index was at -27.8 percent from 22.6 percent in the previous quarter, indicating a decline in the number of unemployed persons expected in the next 12 months.
The third quarter 2016 CES polled 5,810 households nationwide from July 1 to 12.