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Poll reveals S'pore consumer confidence at highest in 2.5 years

Singapore's consumer confidence is at its highest level in two-and-a-half years, according to a survey by Nielsen, a global information and measurement company.

SINGAPORE: Singapore's consumer confidence is at its highest level in two-and-a-half years, according to a survey by Nielsen, a global information and measurement company.

Confidence levels in Singapore hit 99 index points in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 4 index points from the same quarter last year, and remained well above the global average of 94 index points.

Southeast Asian consumers lead the world, with consumers' confidence in the region continuing to rank among the highest globally in the first quarter of this year.

Indonesia's score remained the highest globally at 124 points, while the Philippines came in third globally with 116 points, the Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index showed.

Malaysia saw the region's largest decline in confidence between Q4 2013 and Q1 2014, declining six index points to 92, two points below the global average of 94 points.

"The data for Singapore are particularly encouraging: consumers' positive outlook mirrors the country's strong economic performance (GDP grew by 5.1 points year-on-year)," observed Luca Griseri, head of Nielsen financial services in Singapore and Malaysia.

"Malaysia recorded quarter-on-quarter declines for the past year which is primarily driven by rising fuel and grocery prices due to the reduction in government subsidies in these areas.

"When we look across Southeast Asia, it is interesting that the well-known political challenges have had hardly any effect on Thai consumers, who remain generally optimistic about their financial situation."

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures consumer confidence, major concerns, and spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 60 countries.

Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.  

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