THE ANZ-Roy Morgan Singapore Consumer Confidence Index inched up slightly to 125.2 points for November, representing a 0.2 point month-on-month increase and a 4.3 points year-on-year increase.
"We would assess Singapore consumer confidence as edging sideways, albeit on the slightest of an improving trend, much like the economy itself," said ANZ chief economist, South Asia, Asean and Pacific, Glenn Maguire.
The narrow miss of a technical recession during Q3 and a slight adjustment to monetary policy settings in October probably saw local households enter November with a slightly more optimistic disposition. However, on an absolute basis, the proportion of Singaporeans who are confident about the economic and financial outlook remains particularly low, said ANZ.
In terms of personal finances, only 31 per cent of respondents (up 4 percentage points month-on-month) believe that their families are better off financially than they were a year ago, and only 32 per cent believe that their financial situation will improve over the next year.
That being said, only 10 per cent said their financial situation is worse off compared with a year ago, and only 7 per cent expect their financial situation to be worse off next year.
On the overall economy, Singaporeans are similarly more optimistic, but hardly sanguine. Fifty-two per cent of respondents believe the country's prospects will remain "good" over the next year. Over the five-year horizon, a slightly lower 48 per cent are upbeat about the domestic economy. This muted confidence is manifest in the very low number of respondents who are willing to purchase major household items - only 19 per cent of Singaporeans are ready to do so at the moment.
"The consumer confidence survey continues to paint a picture of households being restrained by uncertainty and a lack of pervasive optimism on the macroeconomic outlook. It is highly unlikely that domestic demand, especially consumption, will emerge as an offset to a challenging external environment anytime soon," said Mr Maguire.