Consumer confidence rising, says Nielsen report

PHOTO: Consumer confidence rising, says Nielsen report

Consumers in Singapore are adopting a slightly sunnier attitude to their jobs and financial prospects, a new study has found.

They are saving and investing more money even as the economic environment remains overcast.

Nielsen said on Wednesday that its third-quarter Consumer Confidence Index shows a reading of 98 for Singapore.

While that is an improvement from 95, where the gauge has stagnated in the past three quarters, it still reflects a generally sombre mood.

Consumer confidence levels above a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism, while levels below 100 reflect pessimism.

The Nielsen report showed that Singaporeans are more confident of their job prospects.

Of the 502 consumers polled, 61 per cent said this time around they believe their job prospects in the next 12 months will be either good or excellent, up from 52 per cent in the last quarter who thought so.

The results also showed an improved outlook on personal finances, with 54 per cent of Singaporeans polled saying that the state of their personal finances in the coming 12 months will likely be good or excellent, up from 50 per cent in the second quarter.

The very slight increase in confidence levels could be because of recent local and global economic forecasts and events, which have presented a mixed picture to consumers, said Mr Luca Griseri, Nielsen Singapore and Malaysia's head of financial services.

"On the one hand, the global economic outlook remains uncertain, with the ongoing rebalancing of the Chinese economy and the impact of the recent United States government shutdown," he said.

"On the other hand, the domestic outlook is much more positive, with a number of better-than-expected indicators having been announced for Singapore."

Along with their sunnier outlook, Singaporeans indicated they are planning to spend more too - 25 per cent said they plan to buy new technology products, up from 20 per cent in the last quarter.

But people here are also planning to save more, with 64 per cent of respondents saying they are putting spare cash into savings, up from 60 per cent last quarter. And 30 per cent said they were planning to invest in stocks and mutual funds, up from 24 per cent.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions measures consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 60 countries.

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