Industry

Filipino Consumers Welcomed 2019 with Less Pessimism Than Last Year

But a majority of them still have a negative sentiment about their current economic situations.
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The consumer confidence index, which the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) uses to measure Filipinos’ current sentiments about their households, stood at -0.5 for the first quarter of 2019.

While the negative index means that more consumers are pessimistic rather than optimistic about their current economic situations, the figure is a huge increase from last quarter’s index of -22.5, which was the lowest the index had been for four years. That means that while more Filipinos are still pessimistic than optimistic, they are less pessimistic than the previous quarter.

In fact, the BSP revealed that the jump from -22.5 to -0.5 is “the all-time largest quarter-on-quarter increase since the start of the nationwide survey in Q1 2007.”

BSP credited the improved consumer sentiment to four factors: (1) expectations of additional or high income; (2) improvement in peace and order; (3) availability of more jobs; and (4) expectations of good governance.

The report also highlighted that consumer confidence grew across all income groups, though the value was still negative for the low-income group. Sentiments also improved regardless of area, with households inside the National Capital Region (NCR) becoming optimistic while those outside NCR becoming less pessimistic.

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The consumer confidence index is measured based on the perception of over 5,000 households on three factors: general economic condition of the country, financial situation of the household, and income sources of the family. Negative indices mean more pessimistic views on these factors, while positive figures signify optimism.

Since the BSP began the survey last 2007, the overall confidence index for the current quarter has been largely negative. It turned positive for the first time in the third quarter of 2016, staying there until the third quarter of 2018, when the index dipped back into the negative level.

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Lorenzo Kyle Subido
Lorenzo Kyle Subido is a staff writer for Esquire Philippines.
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