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Confidence dips in Southeast Asia

News, 29 July 2015

MANILA/SYDNEY: The Philippines is the only market in Southeast Asia where consumer confidence increased in the second quarter of this year, but overall sentiment in the region remains high, a new survey has confirmed.

The Q2 2015 Consumer Confidence Report from research firm Nielsen measured sentiment among 30,000 internet users in 60 countries and recorded a global score of 96 where 100 is the threshold between positivity and negativity.

Looking at the data for Southeast Asia, Nielsen recorded quarterly declines in Vietnam (104, - 8 points), Indonesia (120, -5), Malaysia (89, -5), Thailand (111, -3) and Singapore (99, -1).

However, consumer confidence in The Philippines jumped seven points to 122, the country's highest level on record, which helped confidence in Asia Pacific to hold steady at 107.

Regan Leggett, Nielsen's client service director for Southeast Asia, North Asia and Pacific, told Mumbrella that optimism remains high across the region, but there have been some signs of vulnerability in certain markets over the last quarter.

"On the one hand we have markets like The Philippines where we're seeing a continued influx of foreign investments and a robust domestic base," he said.

"In comparison, markets such as Vietnam are starting to face headwinds such as declining foreign direct investment and a struggling retail environment."

His colleague, Stuart Jamieson, managing director of Nielsen Philippines, explained that growth in the country is being fuelled by strong consumer spending levels, an upswing in the construction sector and increased revenues from the business outsourcing industry.

"Fast-moving consumer goods sales are up 9.8% January-May 2015 from last year, with growth across all retail channels," he said.

"With an increasingly buoyant consumer confidence, consumer spending continues to get momentum, including discretionary spending particularly on vacations and out-of-home entertainment," Jamieson added.

Data sourced from Nielsen, Mumbrella; additional content by Warc staff