Vaccination rollout boosts consumer confidence

·2 min read

CONSUMER confidence has slightly improved, but remained in negative territory in the second quarter of 2021, the latest Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) survey showed.

This means that the number of households with pessimistic views decreased relative to the number in the first quarter, but was still more than those with optimistic views.

The same survey also showed that consumer confidence for the third quarter reverted to positive territory and further improved for the next 12 months.

In a statement issued Tuesday, July 6, 2021, the BSP said the overall confidence index (CI) improved to -30.9 percent in the second quarter of 2021 from -34.7 percent in the first quarter.

For the third quarter, the CI reverted to positive 1.3 percent. This further improved to 19.8 percent for the next 12 months.

The central bank said the respondents cited expectations of more jobs and permanent employment, additional/higher income, and effective government policies and programs, particularly to address Covid-19-related concerns, such as the availability of vaccines, provision of financial assistance and easing of quarantine restrictions.

Reactions

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Felix Taguiam said since the start of the vaccination rollout, more establishments have reopened their stores and business owners now see improved foot traffic. But, spending lately, Taguiam noted, has been redirected to countryside travel.

Despite this, Taguiam said the business community sees more diverse economic activity across all sectors.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Steven Yu said as the government maintains lower quarantine restrictions/levels and with the increased vaccination rollout, people now can move more freely outside of their homes.

After being under more stringent restrictions for more than 16 months, this new development can be liberating and this increases confidence and imbues a better outlook in life, he noted.

“Slowly, it will lead to more spending and consumption despite limited budgets, especially towards the Christmas season in the fourth quarter of the year,” he said.

Survey period

The CI survey was conducted from April 21 to May 1, 2021. A total of 5,581 households responded to the survey for the second quarter, equivalent to a response rate of 97.9 percent.

Respondents consisted of 2,833 households in the National Capital Region and 2,748 households in areas outside NCR. The middle-income group comprised the biggest group at 40.3 percent of the respondents, followed by the low-income group at 36 percent and the high-income group at 23.7 percent. (JOB)

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