FILIPINO consumers were less upbeat about this quarter and the rest of the year, citing worries about lower income amid a novel coronavirus pandemic, according to the Philippine central bank’s latest consumer expectation survey.
The overall consumer outlook index for the second quarter fell to 9.2% from 15.7% in the first quarter, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said in a statement on Friday.
The index for the next 12 months also dropped to 19.9% from 26.4% in the previous quarter’s survey results, BSP said.
Consumers cited rising prices, higher household expenses, low or no increase in income, natural calamities and the virus outbreak for their less upbeat outlook for the next quarter and next 12 months, the central bank said.
Filipinos were also looking at trimming down expenses this quarter, with the spending outlook index slipping to 33.3% from 37.1% in the previous quarter, suggesting that consumer spending may slow in the next three months, BSP said.
Fewer respondents expected higher spending on electricity, food, nonalcoholic beverages and tobacco, fuel, personal care, transportation, education, recreation and culture, clothing and footwear, restaurants and cafes, and communication.
More consumers expected higher spending for medical care and steady expenses for water, house rent and furnishing.
BSP said the percentage of households that considered the next 12 months as a favorable time to buy big-ticket items declined to 6.5% from 9.8%.
“Similarly, this less upbeat intention of buying the three big-ticket items in the next 12 months was observed,” the central bank said.
BSP said 5,406 households took part in the survey on Jan. 29 to Feb. 10. — Luz Wendy T. Noble