21 July 2010
Singaporean consumers among top 10 most confident consumers globally
Savings, investing in stocks / mutual funds rank high on list of things to do with spare cash
Consumer confidence in Singapore rose to 112 index points in the second quarter of 2010, close to the all-time high of 114 index points in the third quarter of 2007, according to the latest Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index. In the second quarter, the index posted a solid five point gain to 112 index points from 107 in the first quarter. Consumer Confidence Index levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism respectively.
Consumers in Singapore are among the top 10 most confident in the world. Six out of the top 10 most optimistic nations in Quarter 2 were from Asia and all these markets posted consumer confidence increases quarter-on-quarter. India (129 index points), Indonesia and Vietnam (both 119 index points) were the most optimistic nations in Q2. Vietnam recorded the highest consumer confidence increase in Q2 soaring 18 index points to 119.
Globally, consumer confidence cautiously edged up one index point to 93 in the second quarter as the increase in consumer confidence in booming Asian markets were offset by European consumers’ growing concerns of an escalating debt crisis, which battered confidence levels in Spain, Italy and France. Consumer confidence rose two points in the U.S. in Q2 to 87, where the world’s largest economy continued on course for a slow, but steady climb out of the recession.
Majority of Singaporean consumers say no recession
Correspondingly the percentage of consumers who feel that Singapore is in an economic recession has declined significantly. In Q2 2010, 17% of consumers believe Singapore is still in a recession, down from 28% last quarter. Across Asia Pacific, Singapore has the least proportion of consumers who think that the country is still in a recession.
“During the recession, the government took swift steps to prevent the economy from worsening. Personal, property and corporate tax rebates, measures to save jobs and retrain workers were some of the actions taken to avert an even sharper downturn. With the upcoming Youth Olympics, the number of visitors coming into the island-state will also help to boost consumer optimism and spending,” said Joan Koh, Managing Director, Singapore, The Nielsen Company.
Brighter prospects ahead
Job prospects are looking brighter this quarter. Among its Asia Pacific counterparts, Singaporeans are the second most optimistic group in terms of job prospects over the next 12 months after India, with 83% indicating they feel positive about employment prospects.
IIn terms of personal finances, 68% of consumers say that it is in an excellent/good state, and one in two (45%) feel that now is the right time to buy things. However, it seems that Singaporeans are diligent when it comes to savings. A majority of consumers (70%) will put aside spare cash into savings after they have covered essential living expenses. Other items include spending on holidays/vacations (53%), investing in shares of stocks/mutual funds (33%), paying off debts/credit cards/loans (32%), and buying new clothes (32%).
Work-life balance and the economy are top concerns
Work-life balance and the economy are still the top two concerns of the average Singapore consumer. According to the International Labour Organization's Global Wage Report Update 2009, the average Singaporean work the longest hours hence it is unsurprisingly that work-life balance is one of the top concerns.
“Consumers continue to be concerned about how the recovery of the overall economy will pan out as the economy has just begun to stabilize. It is however heartening to note that economists are forecasting that the fastest growing economies will be in Asia, led by Singapore, following the announcement by the Ministry of Trade and Industry that the Singapore economy is set to grow by 13% to 15% this year,” noted Koh.
Nielsen’s Global Consumer Confidence Index tracks consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions among approximately 27,000 Internet users in 48 countries. The latest round of the survey conducted between May 10 and May 26, 2010.
About the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey
The Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey was conducted between May 10 and May 26, 2010 and polled approximately 27, 000 consumers in 48 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America about their confidence levels and economic outlook. The Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index is developed based on consumers’ confidence in the job market, status of their personal finances and readiness to spend. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%.
About The Nielsen Company
The Nielsen Company is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related assets. The privately held company has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA. For more information, please visit, www.nielsen.com.
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