Households with savings up in Q1

Mary Grace Padin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — More Filipino households set aside their money for savings in the first quarter, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

According to results of the BSP’s latest Consumer Expectations Survey (CES), the percentage of households with savings in the first quarter rose to 36.6 percent from 32.8 percent in the previous quarter.

“The increase in percentage of savers was observed in both the NCR and areas outside NCR,” the BSP said.

The respondents said they saved money for various reasons, namely, emergencies, health and hospitalization, education, retirement, business capital and investment, and purchase of real estate.

Among households with savings in the first quarter, the BSP said 63.9 percent have bank deposit accounts, down from 68 percent in the previous quarter.

About 43.3 percent kept their savings at home, while 27.4 percent put their money in cooperatives, paluwagan, other credit or loan associations, and in investments, including microfinance, insurance and stocks.

The central bank said the percentage of households who said that they could set aside money for savings increased to 41 percent from 40.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018.

“However, the proportion of those that could set aside 10 percent or more of their monthly gross family income was lower at 31.5 percent from 32.8 percent a quarter ago,” it said.

Meanwhile, the CES also showed that the number of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) households who saved a portion of the remittances they received declined in the first quarter.

Of the 443 respondents, the BSP said 33 percent allocated a part of OFW remittances for savings, lower than the previous quarter’s level of 35.5 percent.

Likewise, the percentage of OFW households who used the remittances for investments and debt payments declined to 3.8 percent and 21.4 percent, respectively.

“The lower quarter-on-quarter percentage of OFW households that allotted remittances for debt payments is consistent with the lesser number of respondents and his/her spouse who declared having an outstanding loan,” according to the survey.

Meanwhile, the central bank said 95.5 percent of OFW households in the first quarter used the remittances they received for food and household needs.

A proportion of OFW households also allotted part of their remittances for education (65.7 percent), medical expenses (46.3 percent), purchase of house (10.2 percent), purchase of appliances or consumer durables (19.2 percent), purchase of car or motor vehicle (10.2 percent), and other miscellaneous expenses (3.8 percent).

“In the last 12 months, the number of OFW households continued to find it easy to receive the money transferred by the OFW and the number that said so increased, as the (confidence index) went up to 47.2 percent in Q1 2019 (from 42.3 percent in the prior survey report),” the BSP said.



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