Most Filipinos have cut spending habits – survey

Published by rudy Date posted on April 15, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – Majority of Filipinos are still scared that they will lose their jobs and have cut their spending habits in light of the weak economy, a survey by a global market research group showed.

The financial crisis has also forced 66 percent of Filipinos surveyed to postpone big decisions such as getting married, having children, moving house, changing jobs as well as pursuing higher education. 

A study conducted by Synovate showed that 92 percent of the surveyed Metro Manila residents have already slowed down their spending due to the crisis while 69 percent said they are fearful that they would lose their jobs and household income.

Likewise, 43 percent still perceive the economy as weak in spite of assurances from the government. However, the respondents believe that the situation will soon improve.

“Filipinos definitely have a more positive outlook on the economy when compared with bigger markets. For instance, close to two thirds of respondents in the US (63 percent), Japan (63 percent) and France (64 percent) believe that their economy is going downhill and will get worse before it gets even better compared to only 28 percent of Filipinos.” said Carole Sarthou managing director of Synovate Philippines.

“It’s evident that the current economic situation has impacted the lives of everyday Pinoys but in spite of this worrying trend, the people we interviewed were generally determined and upbeat with over three quarters (89 percent) agreeing that they will always find a way to afford some items that make them feel good,” she added.

The company surveyed 1,000 Metro Manila residents from the ages of 15 to 64 across all income levels, as part of a global ‘State of the Economy’ survey.

Consumers were asked if they had made changes in their monetary habits in the last six months. It revealed that 39 percent were saving less and investing less. The study showed that generally, the spending was the same but less on luxury items. Close to two-thirds or 61 percent admitted that they had done less impulse related buying in the last six months.

“We found that Filipinos were not the only ones to cut back as comparisons with other Asian markets showed that people from Malaysia, Japan and Taiwan also shared the same sentiments,” she added.

Filipinos were paying more attention to food prices with a majority acknowledging that they are now more likely to check the price of their food items and make price comparisons with other food related products before making a purchase decision.

“Interestingly enough, more than half (55 percent) said that they have resorted to storing more food at home in case prices go up,” Sarthou said. 

When it came to salaries and income, 22 percent of all Filipinos believed that they were earning the same amount of money while 23 percent said that they were taking home less. Close to half or 44 percent said that they had earned more money in the last six months.

The survey also asked people which items they had already given up and which other items they were prepared to give up in the next six months in view of the current economic situation. It found that high tech gadgets and big ticket items such as plasma TVs and electrical appliances were the first items to be sacrificed while holiday and leisure travel as well as dining out were next on the list. –Ma. Elisa P. Osorio, Philippine Star

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