Filipino consumers less optimistic in Q4

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(Source: Philstar | December 8, 2017)

Higher prices of goods, peace and order problems, among others, dampened Filipino consumers’ optimism in the fourth quarter, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ quarterly Consumer Expectation Survey released Friday.

Despite “broadly steady” outlook for the last three months of 2017, overall confidence index (CI) declined for the second straight quarter to 9.5 percent during the October-December period from the preceding quarter’s 10.2 percent.

“This means that the optimists continued to outnumber the pessimists but the margin for the current quarter was slightly lower relative to a quarter ago,” the central bank said.

According to the BSP, respondents attributed their sanguine outlook for the fourth quarter to additional family income and higher salary, as well as availability of more jobs that leads to an increase in number of employed family members.

On the other hand, higher household expenditures, arrival of calamities such as typhoons, and poor health coupled with high medical expenses “counterbalanced” the respondents’ positive sentiment.

Security concerns like extrajudicial killings, drug issues, and the Marawi crisis likewise worried those surveyed by the BSP.

Meanwhile, consumer outlook for the year ahead was less upbeat as the CI dipped slightly to 32 percent from 33.7 percent a quarter ago.

Consumer confidence is measured across three component indicators, namely, the country’s economic condition, family financial situation, and family income.

For Q4 2017, consumer sentiment on the three indicators was mixed, the BSP said.

“Optimism was lower on the country’s economic condition, steady on the family’s financial situation and higher on family income. Notably, a record high CI was posted on the outlook on family income (at 10.3 percent from 9 percent in the previous quarter),” the monetary authority reported.

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