Consumer sentiment weakened in Q2 2012 as the overall confidence index declined to -19.5 percent from -14.7 percent in Q1 2012, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said in a press release.
The CI is computed as the percentage of households that answered in the affirmative less the percentage of households that answered in the negative with respect to their views on a given indicator.
Respondents cited perceived high cost of goods and services, rising unemployment, low salary and income, and expected higher household expenditures for their bearish outlook, the BSP said.
The weaker consumer sentiment was carried to the next quarter as the CI reverted to the negative territory at -2.4 percent in Q2 2012 from 2.8 percent in Q1 2012.
The next quarter CI, however, was better than its year ago level of -7.8 percent.
Concerns over the increase in transport fares in March, the expected upward adjustments in power rates (which took effect in May), and the anticipated hike in tuition could have driven households’ lower optimism as these factors put additional strain on family finances, pushing household expenditures up and real income down, the BSP said.
Households also anticipate tougher competition for jobs as the new college and high school graduates join the labor force during the quarter, it added.
In the year ahead, consumer confidence remained positive but less optimistic, as the CI declined slightly to 10 percent from 11.9 percent in Q1 2012.
The BSP expanded the Consumer Expectations Survey into a nationwide survey beginning Q1 2007, the bank said.
Earlier, the survey was conducted only in the NCR (survey started in Q3 2004).
The CES samples were drawn from the National Statistics Office’s Master Sample List of Households, which is considered a representative sample of households nationwide, the BSP said.
The said master sample was generated using a stratified multi-stage probability sampling scheme.
For Q2 2012, the CES was conducted during the period 2 – 16 April 2012 in all regions of the Philippines, except for ARMM, with a total sample size of 5,830 households, of which 2,955 (50.7 percent) were from the NCR and 2,875 (49.3 percent) from the AONCR, the BSP said.*