S'pore consumer confidence dips in October: ANZ-Roy Morgan


FALTERING confidence over next year's financial conditions pulled down the ANZ-Roy Morgan Singapore Consumer Confidence Index in October, the Australian bank said on Wednesday.

The index fell 0.5 point from a month ago to 120.2 points in October - putting it just below the 2014 year-to-date average of 121.1 points.

The dip reflects respondents' greater unease about their personal financial situation over the next year, according to the monthly report, which is based on 1,000 face-to-face surveys of people aged 14 years and above.

On a net basis, 19.2 per cent of respondents expect their financial situation to be better next year. This is down six percentage points from the 25.2 per cent registered a month ago.

This comes after 29 per cent of respondents - down four percentage points from September - reported being hopeful that their families will be "better off" financially in a year's time.

At the same time, 10 per cent of those polled - up two percentage points from a month ago - expect their family to be "worse off" financially. This sense of pessimism is the strongest since March this year.

"We detect considerable uncertainty on the part of Singaporean consumers and fail to see consumer confidence making a significant directional break either up or down, though risks appear to be skewing towards weaker confidence," said ANZ chief economist for South Asia, Asean and the Pacific, Glenn Maguire, in the report.

Confidence over the economic conditions in Singapore does not necessarily move in tandem with that over financial conditions, showed the report, which recorded trends based on data beginning from January.

This is also seen in October's survey finding, which showed that on a net basis, 35.1 per cent of respondents expect better economic conditions next year. This is up 2.8 percentage points from the 32.3 per cent of respondents who were positive about next year's economic conditions in September.

But Mr Maguire noted that the return of market and economic volatility will "cloud short-term visibility".

"As Singapore is one of the most open to both trade and financial flows, the resilience to renewed volatility in October is somewhat surprising, and we would assess the risk slightly to the downside moving forward," he added.

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