Filipinos to spend less this Christmas — BSP
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - September 28, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos are expected to spend less in the fourth quarter including the Christmas season as they focus their resources on essentials including basic goods and services, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Redentor Paolo Alegre, director of the BSP’s Department of Economic Statistics (DES), said that based on the  results of the third quarter Consumer Expectation Survey (CES),    households’ spending outlook index on basic goods and services for the fourth quarter plunged to a record low of 26.4 percent.

“Consumers’ spending outlook for the next quarter hits record low,” Alegre said.

Alegre also said households’ spending outlook on transportation is expected to rise further in the fourth quarter.

Furthermore, households’ spending outlook on restaurants and cafes, and clothing and footwear was also down.

Alegre said the survey also showed that fewer Filipinos are planning to buy big-ticket items such as house and lot, motor vehicles and consumer durables as they shift their spending priorities to food and other basic needs of the family.

According to the survey, the percentage of households considering the next 12 months as a favorable time to buy big-ticket items declined to 4.5 percent   from 6.5 percent.

In particular, Alegre said the percentage of households that plan to buy real property for the next 12 months fell to a record low of 3.3 percent from 5.9 percent.

The survey, he said, also showed that the percentage of Filipino families with savings fell to 24.7 percent in the third quarter from 37.8 percent in the first quarter amid the   pandemic.

Alegre said respondents of the survey believed unemployment would rise in the fourth quarter.

Alegre added Filipino consumers also anticipate interest rates to increase and the peso to appreciate further in the fourth quarter and in the next 12 months.

Likewise, the CES also showed the number of overseas Filipino workers’   households utilizing the remittances they received to buy food and household needs increased to 97.2 percent from 93.9 percent.

Alegre said the number of OFW families using remittances to purchase appliances and cars fell significantly in the third quarter from the first quarter as some of them opted to invest their money.

On the other hand, OFW families saving the money they received from their loved ones plunged to 31.6 percent in the third quarter from 44.7 percent in the first quarter.

Remittances are seen declining by five percent this year due to the projected global economic slump arising from the impact of the  pandemic.

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