Singapore scores just above 'pessimistic', but still 12th most optimistic country in the world: Nielsen

Singapore is the 12th most optimistic country in the world.
Singapore is the 12th most optimistic country in the world.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - Consumer confidence in Singapore edged up in the third quarter of this year to just cross the border line between optimism and pessimism, according to the latest edition of a survey by Nielsen.

Singapore scored 101 on the index, up 2 points, in the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending released on Tuesday (Nov 3). The 100-mark separates gloom from cheer.

In a sign of how gloomy people in this region may be feeling, those 2 points was the biggest increase in consumer confidence among South-east Asian countries in the third quarter.

It was also enough to make Singapore the 12th most optimistic country in the world, up two spots in the Nielsen ranking.

Global consumer confidence increased three index points in the third quarter to 99, the highest level since 2006, but still below the 100-mark cut-off.

The global picture was also very uneven as confidence stabilised or grew in many advanced economies and fell in many emerging markets.

The US posted the biggest quarterly consumer confidence increase of 18 points, reaching an index score of 119, which is the country's highest level in Nielsen's 10-year consumer confidence history.

Confidence levels also rose in two-thirds of European countries, and the the United Kingdom exceeded the optimism baseline score of 100 for the first time since 2006.

But consumer confidence declined in eight-of-14 Asia-Pacific markets, with the steepest declines in Taiwan, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Nielsen noted although its survey depicted close to six in 10 Singaporeans (58 per cent) are positive of excellent/good job prospects in the next 12 months, there are signs of apprehension over the economy (31 per cent), job security (30 per cent) and work/life balance (21 per cent) in the next six months.

The latest Nielsen survey was conducted Aug 10 to Sept 4, 2015, and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries worldwide, including 503 respondents from Singapore.

Consumer confidence levels in Singapore exceeded 100 points for the first time since three years in the third quarter of 2014, hitting a high then of 103 points.