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."