Business

Consumers in Singapore
have mixed feelings about
the local economy

In a relatively safe and stable country such as Singapore, many locals are largely more concerned about issues directly related to the economy and finances over other issues such as crime and lawlessness as well as drug abuse, concerns that, in some other countries, would rank relatively high.

In a recent online survey conducted by GfK, 65 percent of respondents in Singapore, the highest level across all the Asia Pacific countries surveyed, said that inflation and high prices are among their top 3 concerns. Recession and unemployment with 43 percent, followed by the cost of healthcare with 42 percent are two of the greatest worries among locals.

GfK polled over 40,000 consumers aged over 15 across 28 countries, including 11 from Asia Pacific - Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the latest additions being Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. In Singapore, over 1,200 respondents were surveyed on their attitudes, behaviors and values across a range of topics.

“Generally, Singaporeans are worried about how the global macro-economic factors will impact their day to day livelihood, but through the survey, we also noted that there are other key areas which are causing anxiety among smaller groups of people,” Managing Director for GfK in Southeast Asia, Stanley Kee, said in an official release.

“For instance, 1 in 5 are concerned about global warming and environmental pollution while 16 percent had indicated immigration as a source of concern.”

When it comes to the crunch to curb their spending, one of the first to go are outdoor entertainment and leisure activities such as dining at restaurant with 56 percent, going out for entertainment such as movies, sports events and performances 45 percent and going to bars and clubs 32 percent.

Singaporean consumers also said they have in the last 12 months cut back on spending for clothing and shoes as well as leisure travel and vacations.

“GfK findings have uncovered some interesting trends among various population groups, such as the fact that cost cutting measures are practiced, to a larger extent, by those from the low and medium income households,” Kee said.

“Lower income households are also more likely to actively reduce spending on more basic, regular expenses such as food, cell phone cost, household energy use, and education and medical expenses.”

At the same time, consumers in the country are actively seeking out means to increase savings, with the top three most practiced ways by over half the surveyed respondents using coupons, postponing a purchase until the product is on sale, and shopping more carefully for everyday necessities.

“There has been many deal sites entering the marketplace to offer attractive discounts on all sorts of products and services, and this has been going down well with consumers on the lookout for good purchases,” Kee said.

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