Consumer optimism still high in Q4 '17

By Joann Villanueva

December 8, 2017, 7:07 pm

MANILA -- Filipino consumers’ optimism in the last quarter of 2017 remains high due to expectations of additional family income and higher salary.

Results of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) Consumer Expectation Survey (CES) for the last quarter this year, however, showed a slight dip in index to 9.5 percent from 10.2 percent  in the previous quarter.

Respondents attributed their apprehensions to concerns on higher prices of goods and household expenses, peace and order issues due to extra-judicial killings, drug issues and Marawi crisis; the two typhoons that hit the country last October and poor health and high medical expenses.

BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo, in a briefing, said people normally have high optimism in the last quarter of the year but also pointed that this changes depending on the certain situation.

He said the latest survey posted mixed results, with perception on economic lower but steady for family’s financial situation and higher on family income.

"Sentiments vary and it happened that for this year--the fourth quarter continued the less optimistic trend that was noted in the third quarter relative second quarter of the year but that is not something that is unique for 2017. It happened before and it can happen in the future,” he said.

BSP data show that in the fourth quarter of 2016, nationwide confidence index improved to 9.2 from quarter-ago’s 2.5 percent.

It was the same situation same period in 2015 after the index improved to -8.1 percent from the previous quarter’s -26.3 percent.

Among select economic indicators, respondents expects the peso to depreciate against the US dollar, and interest rate, inflation, unemployment rate and prices of basic goods to increase.

The nationwide survey was done from Oct. 2-14, 2017 and received a response rate of 96.9 percent. (PNA)