|Supermarket-goers pick fruits and vegetables. Viet Nam's consumer confidence index declined compared with its mid-year record high.— VNA/VNS Duy Khuong
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam's consumer confidence index dropped by 4.5 points to 138.6 points in July, but it was still higher than the 2014 average of 133.3 points.
The figure for July was also higher than for the same period last year, a report published by ANZ Bank on Wednesday said.
A fall in confidence in the Vietnamese economy over the next 12 months and the five years to come led to the July decline, ANZ Bank explained.
Only 50 per cent (down by 8 percentage points against last month) of the people polled in a survey expect Viet Nam's financial situation to be in a "good condition" in the next 12 months, the lowest score for this indicator since January 2015.
Meanwhile, 13 per cent (up by 3 percentage points against last month) forecast "bad times" ahead in terms of finances.
Sixty-four per cent (down by 2 percentage points against last month) of the people polled expect the country to have "good times" finance-wise in the next five years, while seven per cent (up by 3 percentage points against last month) predicted "bad times".
In addition, 40 per cent (down by 7 percentage points against last month) of the respondents believe "now is a good time to buy" major household items – the lowest score for this indicator since December 2014.
In contrast, 12 per cent (unchanged against last month) of the people polled said "now is a bad time to buy" major household items.
Glenn Maguire, ANZ Chief Economist for South Asia, ASEAN and Pacific regions, said Viet Nam's consumer confidence index was in decline compared to its mid-year record high. However, the results reflected the ongoing economic recovery, which is broadening and strengthening, he said.
Maguire pointed to the bill proposed by the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour to increase the minimum wage by 16-17 per cent in 2016, saying that if endorsed, it would go a long way towards bolstering domestic demand and private consumption against what could be a more uncertain global backdrop.
"We continue to remain optimistic about the strength and resilience of the Vietnamese economy's recovery, particularly the role of consumers, as we look towards 2016," Maguire said. — VNS