Confident Consumers in Singapore Continue to Spend

Confidence among consumers in Singapore is unwavering as the nation reports a Consumer Confidence Index of 113 in Q3 2010, according to the latest edition of the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index. Consumer Confidence Index levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.

Despite gaining just one index point from 112 in Q2 to 113 this quarter, Singapore has been enjoying positive consumer sentiments since Q4 2009. In this quarter, 72% percent said the state of their personal finances is good or excellent, and one in two said this is the right time for them to buy the things that they want. Only 11% felt that the economy is in a recession.

Asia solidifies its spot as one of the most confident regions. Nine out of the top 10 most confident nations hailed from Asia Pacific countries: India (129 Index points), Thailand (117) and Australia and Indonesia (115), Philippines (114), Singapore (113), China (104) and Malaysia and Hong Kong (103). Asia Pacific was the world’s most confident region reporting an Index of 98, followed closely by Middle East/Africa at 97 points. Thailand posted the biggest quarterly confidence jump to an Index of 117 in the third quarter.

“The sustained consumer confidence over the last few quarters has translated into growth of FMCG sales by 12% in the Asia Pacific in the second quarter of 2010, rebounding from a general decline in growth rates for most markets in 2009,” said Joan Koh, Managing Director, The Nielsen Company Singapore.

The outlook is however less rosy in the other markets in the latest round of the survey conducted between September 3 and September 21, 2010. While positive sentiment buy levitra with no prescription drove confidence levels up in the first half of this year, consumer confidence declined in 20 of 53 global markets in the third quarter, and most markets showed continued spending restraint.

After covering living expenses, Singapore consumers will put their spare cash into savings (69%), holidays/trips (60%) and new clothes (35%). These numbers are above the global average where 49% of respondents will put spare cash into savings, and 33% will spend on holidays/trips. Fifty-one percent of Singapore respondents feel that now is a good/excellent time to buy things, compared to the global average of 35%. “With the improving consumer sentiment, consumers are looking to spend their spare cash on non-essential categories. We see an increase in the proportion of respondents who will spend on holidays, out-of-home entertainment, new clothes and technology products, compared to the last quarter,” added Koh.

“Recent launches for technology products such as the iPad, MacBook Air, Windows Phone 7 OS, the influx of android phones, as well as affordable data plan packages offered by telecommunication providers to increase their subscription base, may have made it more attractive for consumers to spend on technology products.”

“While the proportion of those who intend to save remain fairly constant, more respondents are also looking at building their nest egg by investing in retirement funds,” said Koh.

Rising Concerns Work-life balance remains the number one concern as mentioned by 16% of respondents. This quarter, rising food prices have inched its way up to second key concern at 12% for consumers here. Across Asia Pacific, one in five consumers are most concerned about rising food prices—an increase of 13 points compared to the second quarter, followed by work-life balance (13%).