Singapore consumers slightly more optimistic at year-end: survey

Singapore consumers ended 2014 slightly more optimistic about their finances and the economy, according to a private survey. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 
Singapore consumers ended 2014 slightly more optimistic about their finances and the economy, according to a private survey. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 

Buoyed perhaps by their year-end bonuses and the holiday seaon, Singapore consumers ended 2014 slightly more optimistic about their finances and the economy, according to a private survey.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Singapore Consumer Confidence index, which started in January this year, rose 0.9 points to 121.8 in December from 120.9 in November, to sit just above the year's average of 121.1.

But as ANZ chief economist for South Asia, Asean & the Pacific, Glenn Maguire, points out, sentiment has hardly rebounded.

"Indeed, consumer confidence has finished a rather ordinary year pretty much sitting close to its average," said Mr Maguire.

Looking ahead, he said: "We will reserve judgement for now, as significant challenges such as supply-side restructuring and downward pressure on property prices remain high hurdles for confidence to overcome in 2015."

The December poll showed that in terms of personal finances, 27 per cent (unchanged) of respondents say their families are "better off" financially than a year ago compared to just 11 per cent (down 2 percentage points) that say they are "worse off".

Now, 31 per cent (up 2 percentage points) of respondents say they expect their families will be "better off" financially in a year's time compared to only 8 per cent (up 1 percentage point) that expect their families will be "worse off",

Thinking of economic conditions in Singapore going forward, just under half of respondents (unchanged at 48 per cent) expect Singapore will have "good times" economically over the next twelve months, compared to just 11 per cent (down 2 percentage points) that expect 'bad times' economically.

Over the longer-term, 45 per cent (unchanged) of respondents now expect Singapore will have "good times" financially during the next five years and only 9 per cent (down 2 percentage points) expect "bad times".

When it comes down to actual spending though, Singapore consumers are even more cautious: 17 per cent (down 1 percentage point) of respondents say now is a "good time to buy" major household items, while 20 per cent (up 2 percentage points) say now is a 'bad time to buy'.