Freeman Cebu Business

Improved purchasing power buoys Cebu retail industry

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The retail industry in Central Visayas particularly in Cebu, the region's trade center, continues to enjoy steady growth amid the strong purchasing power of consumers.

Efren Carreon, regional head of the National Economic and Development Authority, said many local retailers expanded their investments in the region by opening up new branches in Cebu and surrounding areas to take advantage of the upbeat business climate.

At least two big shopping malls opened in Cebu City late last year, adding competition to the growing number of shopping malls in Cebu.

The retail trade industry is also expected to benefit from increased household spending and strong remittance inflows from Filipino workers abroad.

Carreon noted the growth in volume and value of purchases made by consumers was confirmed by the Consumer Expectation Survey by the central bank.

The rising consumer spending is partly attributed to the growing IT-BPO (information technology-business process outsourcing) and tourism sector.

In the region, Carreon said gadgets, food and clothing remain the top selling products.

"Demand for these products was especially strong among IT-BPO workers with their higher incomes," he said.

Research firm Nielsen had said that consumer confidence in the Philippines registered the highest score in Southeast Asia for 2015.

Globally, Filipinos are second most confident, next only to Indians, according to Nielsen's Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions. (FREEMAN)

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