Singapore consumers less upbeat, more are scaling back their spending plans, survey finds

Consumers here have become less optimistic about their personal finances are have scaled back plans to buy big-ticket household items, a survey found.
Consumers here have become less optimistic about their personal finances are have scaled back plans to buy big-ticket household items, a survey found.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

SINGAPORE - Consumers have become less optimistic about their personal finances and have scaled back plans to buy big-ticket household items, a survey found.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Singapore Consumer Confidence Index slipped 4.6 points to 125.0 in October from September. The index remains above its long-term average of 123.5 and is 4.8 points higher than it was a year ago.

In terms of personal finances, 27 per cent of those surveyed of the respondents said their families are better off financially than a year ago. This is the lowest for the indicator since October 2014, and down 7 points month-on-month. Meanwhile, 9 per cent said they are worse off.

The number of respondents who felt now is a good time to buy major household items dipped to 20 per cent (down 4 points) while 18 per cent (up 3 points) felt it is a bad time to do so.

The number of respondents who expect their families to be better off financially in a year's time fell to 33 per cent (down 5 points), the lowest since February this year. Seven per cent (up 1 point) expect to be worse off, the highest recorded since February.

When thinking of future economic conditions in Singapore, 51 per cent (down 5 points), expect the country to have good times financially over the next 12 months while 11 per cent (down 2 points) expect bad times.

ANZ chief economist for South Asia, Asean & the Pacific, Glenn Maguire, said "the confluence of external and domestic headwinds suggests that local consumer confidence is more likely to soften, then strengthen, in the coming months."