Photo: Duc Anh
No change from second quarter in Nielsen's consumer confidence index for third quarter.
Vietnam’s consumer confidence index (CCI) was unchanged in the third quarter from the second quarter, at 107, keeping Vietnam as the seventh most optimistic country globally, according to the latest CCI report released by Nielsen on November 2.
“Vietnam’s consumer confidence index maintained a high level despite moderate market growth and market volatility,” said Ms. Nguyen Huong Quynh, Managing Director of Nielsen Vietnam.
“What we are seeing here is not reflected in the performance of the market but rather the future hopes and sentiments of Vietnamese consumers, reflecting the continued growth of the middle class population and a stable economic outlook from the government. People see challenges but view these as a minor hurdle in a country where, for the most part, the upside will almost certainly continue.”
The report also revealed that confidence levels are positive in four out of six Southeast Asian countries and remains firm, with scores above the 100 mark. Consumers in Southeast Asia are also among the most confident across the globe.
Vietnamese people remain hopeful despite being concerned about job security. In the third quarter job security (47 per cent) led in key concerns, joined by health (35 per cent) and work/life balance (25 per cent). Parents’ welfare and happiness, at 21 per cent, has emerged as a key concern among Vietnamese consumers, while the economy again appeared on the list, at 18 per cent.
While nearly half of respondents believe the country is in a recessionary state (an increase of 1 percentage point compared to last quarter), nearly two in three perceive their state of personal finances to be either good or excellent in the next 12 months (63 per cent, up 2 per cent from previous quarter), and over a half of Vietnamese consumers are also feeling hopeful about local job prospects (57 per cent versus 55 per cent in the last quarter).
“In the current context, consumers continue to be upbeat about their future, financial security remains one of their top priorities,” Ms. Quynh said. “Both job security and economic outlook have a direct impact on consumers’ degree of financial security, and hence lead in key concerns.”
Southeast Asian consumers are the world’s most avid savers, including Vietnamese. Seven in ten respondents (70 per cent) in the region put their spare cash into savings. The region has the world’s Top 10 most active savers, with Vietnamese being first (78 per cent) followed by Indonesians (77 per cent). The global average is 52 per cent.
Along with channeling spare cash into savings, consumers in Vietnam are also eager to spend on big ticket items to increase quality of life. The survey also revealed that, after covering essential living expenses, around two in five Vietnamese consumers are willing to spend on big ticket items such as holidays and vacations (39 per cent), new clothes (36 per cent), out-of-home entertainment (32 per cent), home improvements/decorating (31 per cent), and new technology products (31 per cent).
Should economic conditions improve, at least one-third of Vietnamese consumers say they will continue to save on gas and electricity (31 per cent) and minimize out-of-home entertainment (21 per cent).