Nielsen survey: Consumer confidence improves in Q3

Robust growth in the manufacturing and service sectors contributed to the rebound in the economy.
Robust growth in the manufacturing and service sectors contributed to the rebound in the economy. PHOTO: ST FILE

Consumer confidence in Singapore shot up in the third quarter on the back of the improving economy, according to a survey released yesterday.

It noted that the expanding manufacturing and service sectors have underscored economic growth and boosted sentiment in the country.

The Nielsen quarterly poll put consumer confidence at 94 points, up five from the second quarter's 89.

The global survey assessed perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions. It found that job security and the economy were the chief concerns among Singaporeans, although not as acute as earlier in the year. Health was also cited by many respondents.

Worries over the economy were cited by 42 per cent of respondents in the third quarter, compared with 51 per cent in the second.

The survey also noted that 41 per cent regarded job prospects over the coming 12 months as "excellent or good", up from 36 per cent in the second quarter.

"Singaporeans have weathered the storm, with unemployment decreasing amid the challenging economic landscape," said Nielsen Singapore managing director Johan Vrancken.

THINGS ARE LOOKING UP

Singaporeans have weathered the storm, with unemployment decreasing amid the challenging economic landscape.

NIELSEN SINGAPORE MANAGING DIRECTOR JOHAN VRANCKEN

Robust growth in the manufacturing and service sectors contributed to the rebound in the economy this quarter, said Nielsen, which carries out the survey in 63 countries. Health was among the top five concerns, which, Mr Vrancken said, reflected consumers' "growing awareness of and emphasis on healthy living and eating, supported by the Government's increased focus on (building a) healthy nation".

Singaporeans took top spot in the survey for spending on their holiday getaways, with 53 per cent in the third quarter allocating spare cash to taking vacations, up from 42 per cent in the second. This compares with second-placed Indonesia, where 50 per cent put their money into holidays followed by Spain's 49 per cent.

More people, however, were also using their money to plan for their golden years, with 67 per cent of Singaporeans depositing spare cash into savings, putting them fourth worldwide after the Philippines, India and Thailand. For those who preferred to invest, 26 per cent of respondents put their money into retirement funds, while 24 per cent invested in shares or mutual funds. Singapore has remained one of the top nations in savings and investments, said Mr Vrancken.

The survey found that 52 per cent of consumers here were increasingly confident on their state of personal finances.

"Locals continue to be mindful of the economic outlook and their job security," said Mr Vrancken.

The survey was conducted online in September and included 502 respondents from Singapore.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2017, with the headline 'Nielsen survey: Consumer confidence improves in Q3'. Print Edition | Subscribe