SINGAPORE: Consumer confidence in Singapore has declined for the first time in almost a year, with a knock-on effect on purchase intent across a variety of categories.

The regular barometer of popular sentiment collated by Nielsen, the research firm, fell by six points, to 103 points, during the second quarter of 2011.

Such a trend followed nine successive quarters of growth on this metric, the company added.

"Generally, consumer sentiment here is affected by lingering concerns about inflation and negative news flow from other parts of the world," Joan Koh, the managing director of Nielsen Singapore, told Channel News Asia.

"As a result, even though the country's economic outlook is healthy, consumers may still be at a crossroads: To spend now or later?"

In all, 35% of shoppers believe the next year will be a good time to make purchases, down from 45% in the first quarter.

Grocery, apparel and utilities came in as the leading sectors where contributors are planning to cut back in the coming 12 months.

However, further areas of expenditure ranging from electronics to taking overseas holidays and investing in stocks are also expected to see a decline.

Among the main sources of anxiety identified by participants are achieving a desirable work-life balance, on 17%, ahead of food price inflation, on 16%.

Data sourced from Channel News Asia; additional content by Warc staff