Optimists among consumers increase in Q3– survey

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Filipino consumers are likely to boost household spending in the third quarter of 2015 due to more job opportunities, higher family earnings and reduced debts, a central bank survey showed.

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According to the results of the latest Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday, the overall confidence index (CI) in July to September improved to minus 11.6 percent from minus 16.2 percent recorded in the second quarter and minus 26.3 percent in the third quarter of 2014.

“The higher—but still negative —CI for the third quarter of 2015 means that the number of households with an optimistic view increased but was less than those who think otherwise,” Teresita B. Deveza, deputy director of BSP’s Department of Economic Statistics, told reporters in a briefing on Thursday.

The survey covered 5,194 households nationwide, 2,866 of which were from the National Capital Region (NCR) and 3,028 from areas outside NCR.

The CI is computed as the percentage of households that answered in the affirmative, minus the percentage of households that answered in the negative with respect to their views on a given indicator.

The CES data revealed that consumers were more optimistic in the third quarter on the back of more jobs; higher family income due to salary increases, better harvest, high production of goods, and stronger business activity; as well as reduced debt payments.

The respondents also cited that government assistance such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), less corruption and good governance were some of the more positive items in July to September.

The fading worry among consumers on corruption in government is a 180-degree turn from the negative sentiments on corruption issues in the earlier quarter.

 Q4 outlook
According to the CES, consumer confidence in the fourth quarter is even more favorable
with the CI moving to a 5.8 percent.

BSP data cited the number of respondents with positive tallies increased and have exceeded those with negative views.

“Expectations of additional family income, increasing employment opportunities, and brisker business on the back of more investment opportunities triggered by the stronger confidence gained from the country’s higher credit rating, lesser debt payments and more overseas Filipino workers in the family fueled the strong consumer sentiment for the next quarter,” Deveza said.

For the next 12 months, the BSP forecasts that consumer confidence will be sustained, with the CI steady at 15.8 percent from the 16.4 percent.

The CES is a quarterly survey of households drawn from the Philippine Statistics Authority Master Sample List of Households as the representative sample of households nationwide.

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