Consumer confidence keeps climbing

Thien Thanh Sanitaryware joint company

Consumer confidence keeps climbing

Consumer confidence in Vietnam gained further momentum in the third quarter, increasing by four points from Q2 according to survey results released last week by global information and measurement company Nielsen.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions reveals that for the first time since 2012 consumer confidence levels in Vietnam exceeded 100 points to stand at 102 while globally consumer confidence remained steady at 98 points.

Vaughan Ryan, managing director of Nielsen Vietnam, said, "the four-point increase to 102 for Q3 is the largest change in a number of years and does show some positive signs of improving consumer confidence, despite a tough 18 months.

"It is the highest level recorded since Q4 of 2013. It is important to acknowledge that overall, Vietnamese consumers are still very cautious as economy and job security are still the main concerns."

Consumers still have a strong sentiment for putting cash into savings but for the first time in a number of years the number of people saying this has reduced, he said.

"Across the board we saw an increased intent to spend money on holidays, new clothes, new technology, home improvements and more out of home entertainment. This is such a positive sign that it looks like consumers are about to open their wallets again.

"The local market has been tough, but the Consumer Confidence Study showed some really positive signals, which is fantastic leading up to Tet and into 2015."

Positive outlook
While a majority of consumers across Southeast Asia have a positive outlook for the future, the economy and job security remain the top concerns.

In Thailand, 44 percent listed the economy as a key worry over the next six months, while it was 34 percent in the Philippines, 33 percent in Malaysia, 27 percent in Vietnam, and 24 percent in Singapore.

Thirty four percent of consumers in the Philippines felt uncertain about job security, 26 percent in Thailand, 22 percent in Vietnam, and 20 percent in Singapore.

Besides, the region's consumers remain focused on putting aside savings for the future, with 77 percent and 74 percent consumers in Vietnam and Indonesia respectively stashing their spare cash into savings after covering essential living expenses.

Consumers in other Southeast Asian markets are also diligently building nest eggs, including those in the Philippines (67 percent), Thailand (67 percent), Singapore (66 percent), and Malaysia (63 percent).

Along with savings and investing in stocks, consumers in the region are also eager to spend on big-ticket items.

Singaporeans are the most inclined globally to spend their spare cash on vacations (51 percent), followed closely by Malaysia (47 percent), and Indonesia (41 percent).

Around a third of consumers in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand prefer to spend their spare cash on new clothes.

Five Southeast Asian markets — Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia — rank in the top 10 globally in changing their spending habits to reduce household expenses.

In Thailand, 88 percent have changed their spending in the past year to save on household expenses, the highest level globally, followed by 86 percent in Vietnam, 83 percent in the Philippines, 79 percent in Malaysia, 76 percent in Indonesia, and 63 percent in Singapore.

The survey, done in August–September, polled more than 30,000 people online in 60 countries in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa, and North America.

Viet nam plus