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Singapore consumer confidence down in Sept, finds ANZ-Roy Morgan index

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Consumers confidence in Singapore retreated by 0.9 points to 129.6 in September on increased concerns about Singapore's economy over the next five years.

CONSUMER confidence in Singapore retreated by 0.9 points to 129.6 in September on increased concerns about Singapore's economy over the next five years. This was according to the ANZ-Roy Morgan Singapore Consumer Confidence index.

However, the index is still 8.9 points higher than a year ago (September 2014: 120.7) and remains clearly above its long-term average of 123.5.

More respondents have indicated concern about Singapore's economy in both the medium and long term. The number of respondents who expect Singapore to experience bad times financially over the next year and the longer term both rose in September.

Thirteen per cent (up three percentage points) expect bad economic times going forward in the next year. Over the next five years, 12 per cent (up five percentage points) expect bad times - the highest figure recorded for the indicator since March 2014.

In fact, Glenn Maguire, chief economist, South Asia, Asean and Pacific at ANZ Research, said the uncertainty likely resulted in a "flight to safety" mindset within the electorate, and this was what galvanised sentiment back towards the time-tested People's Action Party to tackle the immediate and medium-term challenges.

"Looking ahead, we expect continued normalisation in the recent upswing in consumer confidence, especially as households could be spooked by the global equity rout and the sharp moderation of China's economic growth. Already, recent trade performance has underscored the vulnerability of Singapore to sluggish global trade," he noted.

"Domestically, a rise in rates will exacerbate the persistent softness in property prices which will have a knock-on 'wealth effect' on households. All of this suggests confidence is more likely to soften in the coming months."