Filipinos online among the most upbeat — poll

Published by rudy Date posted on July 18, 2011

FILIPINO online consumers remained among the most optimistic in the world in the second quarter amid a record drop in confidence globally, ranking second behind India in a new Nielsen survey.

The confidence index for the Philippines improved five notches to 115 in the first quarter, data from the The Nielsen Co.’s quarterly Global Online Consumer Confidence, Concerns, and Spending Intentions Report showed.

The global score, which was obtained from responses of over 31,000 Internet users in 56 countries, fell to its lowest level in six quarters at 89 — down from 92 three months earlier — as consumers fell back to a “recessionary mindset.” The survey uses 100 as a baseline, with numbers above and below indicating “degrees of optimism and pessimism.”

India topped the survey with 126 points, although this was down by five points from the previous quarter. Behind the Philippines were Indonesia (112), Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates (110 each), Switzerland (108) Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong (107), China and Thailand (105), Australia and Singapore (103), Canada (101), and Peru (99).

Debt-ridden Greece was at the bottom of the survey with 41 points, followed by Portugal (42), Hungary (43) Croatia (45), Romania (47), South Korea (52), Italy and Japan (55), Latvia (57), Spain and Lithuania (60), and Ireland (64).

Global sentiment dropped to its lowest level in six quarters due to concerns over rising food prices and weak economic recovery, the Nielsen survey found.

Consumers were said to be holding back on discretionary spending, such as on stocks, clothing, and technology upgrades.

“There wasn’t enough positive news to inspire confidence among global online consumers in the second quarter,” said Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at the Cambridge Group, a part of the Nielsen group, in the report.

Fifty-eight percent of the global respondents said they were still in recession, and half of them believed they would still be in recession in a year’s time.

According to the survey, conducted between May 20 and June 7, the Asia-Pacific region remained the most optimistic at 98 points despite a nine-point quarterly dip, followed by Middle East/Africa at 94 points. Latin America followed with 91 points, while North America and Europe trailed at 81 and 74, respectively.

Consumers in the Asia-Pacific region said they planned to save more by spending less on new clothes (52%), out-of-home entertainment (48%), and gas and electricity (44%).

But more Asia-Pacific consumers said they were still in recession at 42% in the second quarter from 35% the previous quarter. In the Middle East and Africa, 74% of respondents said they were still in recession, up by nine points.

France and Russia recorded the highest increases in online consumer confidence while Saudi Arabia recorded the steepest decline, the report showed.

Consumer confidence in the United States, meanwhile, fell by two points to 78, with a third saying they have no cash for discretionary spending. — J. D. T. Chua Co., Businessworld

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