SINGAPORE - Singaporeans' fears over the economy and job prospects eased in the second quarter of this year, according to a survey by Nielsen released on Tuesday (Aug 29).
While job security and the economy remained the top concerns here, a measure of pessimistic sentiment declined. The survey showed 51 per cent of local respondents feeling like the country was in recession in the second quarter of this year, compared to 62 per cent who felt so in the fourth quarter of last year.
Nielsen's latest instalment of its Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending, conducted in May, covered 63 countries, including 501 respondents from Singapore.
The survey also depicted that local perceptions of excellent or good job prospects in the next 12 months have improved (36 per cent in Q2 2017 versus 32 per cent in Q2 2016).
"Singaporeans have weathered the storm, with resident unemployment decreasing amidst the challenging economic landscape," said Johan Vrancken, Nielsen Singapore's managing director.
"The government's key actions such as industry transformation and national SkillsFuture initiative have enabled Singapore to be well-placed for the future to become a value-creating, innovation-led economy."
The survey also found that Singaporeans are cutting back on discretionary spending, with 54 per cent forking out less on shopping for new clothes, 45 per cent on out-of-home entertainment and 43 per cent on holidays and short breaks.
Forty-three per cent of Singaporeans are also switching to cheaper grocery brands, while 39 per cent are saving on gas and electricity.
The survey also found that Singaporeans are among the world's top savers and planners for retirement, said Nielsen. More than six in 10 (66 per cent) have put their spare cash in savings, while 28 per cent have invested in shares or mutual funds, and topped up their retirement funds.