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Vietnamese consumer confidence "largely intact": Economist

Update: February, 16/2015 - 12:04
Customers shop at a supermarket in Viet Nam. Domestic consumer confidence has been largely intact this year after a tumultuous 2014. -- Photo

HA NOI (VNS) –Vietnamese consumers started 2015 with their confidence broadly unchanged after a tumultuous 2014, ANZ Bank Economist Glenn Maguire said in a recent report.

According to the chief economist of the bank, in South Asia, ASEAN and the Pacific, the ANZ-Roy Morgan Vietnam Consumer Confidence index fell slightly to 135.4 in January, down 0.2 points from the previous month, and slightly above the 2014 average of 133.3.

The report said that in terms of personal finances at present, 33 per cent (down 1 percentage point) of the Vietnamese people said their families are "better off" financially than a year ago, compared with 21 per cent (down 1 percentage point), who said their families are "worse off".

Among the respondents, 53 per cent (down 5 percentage points) expect their families to be "better off" financially this time next year, compared with just 6 per cent (up 1 percentage point), who expect them to be "worse off".

Half said Viet Nam will see "good times" financially during the next year and only 14 per cent (down 1 percentage point) expect to see "bad times".

Fifty-seven per cent (down 2 percentage points) expect the country will see "good times" economically over the next five years, compared to 7 per cent (down 1 percentage point), who expect to see "bad times".

Forty-three per cent (up 3 percentage points) said now is a "good time to buy" major household items, compared to 11 per cent (down 2 percentage points), who said now was a "bad time to buy".

Glenn further said that the most interesting aspect of the Vietnamese consumer confidence readings was that the considerable decline in international oil prices has not been able to arrest the modest deterioration in confidence during recent months.

"We suspect that the on-going slowdown in China, and the interaction of that slowdown with the decline in international oil prices, might hold the key to understanding why Vietnamese consumer confidence appears to be underperforming and lead to a pick-up in confidence amongst regional peers," he said.

"To the extent that concerns over China's slowdown are outweighing the positive impact of falling oil prices, Vietnamese consumer confidence might continue to remain ‘sticky' at current levels," he added.

ANZ Bank and Roy Morgan Research had launched the monthly private consumer index for Viet Nam last July, with surveys covering major cities and provinces across the nation. – VNS

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