Vietnamese consumers buck trend as global confidence dips

By Hung Le   March 10, 2019 | 11:17 pm PT
Vietnamese consumers buck trend as global confidence dips
Consumer goods is the most promising sector for M&A in Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress
Vietnamese people remain among the most optimistic consumers even as global confidence falls in Q4 2018, a survey finds.

According to the Global Consumer Confidence Survey conducted by global research firms The Conference Board and Nielsen, Vietnam continues to be one of the most optimistic countries in the world.

Vietnam scored 122 points in the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI), behind only India, the Philippines and Indonesia with 133, 131 and 127 points respectively.

Although Vietnam’s CCI dropped 7 points over the previous quarter, a general upwards trend in 2018 kept it higher than the regional and world average at 117 and 107 points, respectively.

The drop was expected, said Nielsen Vietnam general director Nguyen Huong Quynh, because consumers were worried about New Year expenses and bonuses not meeting expectations at the onset of 2019.

Globally and regionally, many countries saw consumer confidence falling due to uncertainties caused by rising costs of living and political instability.

In the fourth quarter, Vietnam continued to rank first in the Asia Pacific region as the most avid savers (78 percent), followed by Hong Kong (71 percent), India (68 percent) and Thailand (67 percent).

This is 6 percentage points higher than the previous three-month period, and the highest since the third quarter of 2016.

However, despite this considerable increase in savings, Vietnamese consumers are still willing to fork out just as much or possibly even more money on big-ticket items such as new clothes, holidays or out-of-home entertainment.

They are less likely to spend on new tech products, decorations and medical insurance premiums, the survey found.

"Saving is the culture of Vietnamese people. Given their anxiety about expenses and bonuses for New Year, it is not surprising consumers want to save more at the end of the year. However, we should not rush to the conclusion that this trend will continue," said Quynh.

"Looking at the long-term trend, Vietnamese consumers are increasingly willing to spend more on technological and health products. Businesses need to monitor these trends, so as not to miss opportunities," she added.

The survey covered 32,000 online consumers in 64 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America.

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