The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) is driven by three indicators, which are consumers’ perception on state of their personal finances, local job prospects, and intentions/readiness to spend. For Singapore, there were improvements across all three indicators on both a quarterly and annual basis where 57% believe the state of their personal finances in the next 12 months will be excellent or good (vs 53% in Q2 2018, 52% in Q3 2017). 48% have a positive view on job prospects in the next 12 months (vs 44% in Q2 2018, 42% in Q3 2017) and 39% said “now is the time to buy the things they want and need” (vs 36% in Q2 2018, 31% in Q3 2017).
“Backed by expansions in the service industry and increases for overall employment in Q3 2018, Singaporean consumers are warming up in their confidence levels,” Johan Vrancken, managing director of Nielsen Singapore, said. “However, locals still remained conservatively optimistic, with 48% having a positive view on job prospects, and 39% highlighting their spending intentions.”
Job security and economy a concern for SG consumers
While confidence levels were high, Singaporeans remained cautious when it came to spending their spare cash, as there were quarter-on-quarter decreases in intentions to spend on discretionary items such as new clothes (down 6%) and holidays/vacations (down 3%). More than three in five Singaporeans (64%) said they would save their spare cash, while one in four placed them in their retirement funds (26%), or invested in shares of stock/mutual funds (25%).
About 69% of Singaporeans believed that the country was not currently in recession, job security and the economy remained as top concerns. 18% (vs 20% in Q2 2018) mentioned that job security was a top concern, 14% the economy (vs 12% in Q2 2018), 14% work/life balance (vs 13% in Q2 2018), and 9% increasing utility bills (vs 5% in Q2 2018).
“Singaporeans are prudent in saving up for a rainy day, which we have observed over the last few quarters,” said Vrancken. “Channeling their money into savings or investments provides them with the assurance and financial protection for the future.”
The Conference Board Global Consumer Confidence Survey, in collaboration with Nielsen, measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions among more than 32,000 respondents with Internet access in 64 countries, including 501 respondents from Singapore. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.