Vietnamese expect bright future

Update: July, 12/2014 - 10:45
Consumers shop at Co.op Mart in Ha Noi. Vietnamese consumers have a high level of optimism about the future, according to a recent ANZ survey, making spending prospects bright. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung
HCM CITY  (VNS) — Vietnamese have a very high level of optimism about the future that makes the outlook for Vietnamese consumer spending exciting, according to an economist from ANZ.

Glenn Maguire, the bank's chief economist for the Asia-Pacific, said 92 per cent of respondents in an ANZ survey on Viet Nam consumer confidence believed that their generation would lead a better life than that of their parents.

He was speaking at yesterday's launch of the bank's first monthly Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for Viet Nam.

It was done in the first half in partnership with Australian firm Roy Morgan Research, polling 1,000 people aged 14 or above in major cities and provinces like HCM City, Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Quang Binh, Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Can Tho.

Around 93 per cent also believed that their children would have a better life than their own.

Viet Nam ranked second only to Myanmar, whose rates were 96 and 95 per cent respectively, and was above countries like China, Indonesia, Thailand, and Japan.

But Viet Nam's confidence level has been declining, with the CCI falling to 131 in June from 136.4 in February and March. But it was higher than April's 130 and May's 123, the lowest.

On the scale, 100 represents neutral.

This CCI is based on aspects in which respondents believe they were better or worse off this time last year and will be better/worse next year, their expectations about their financial status in the next 12 months, the status of Viet Nam in the next five years, as well as whether it is a good or bad time for buying major household items.

In terms of personal finances, 48 per cent of Vietnamese (highest in the year-to-date and up 9 per cent from May) expected their family to be better off, while 8 per cent (down 6 per cent) expect to be worse.

Around 32 per cent (highest in year-to-date) said their family is better off than a year ago compared to 20 per cent (down 7 per cent) who said the opposite.

Almost 57 per cent (up 5 per cent) hoped they would have a "good time" economically in the next five years compared to 11 per cent who await a "bad time".

Asked about the next 12 months, 49 per cent said Viet Nam would have good times financially while 16 per cent expected bad times, with both rates remaining unchanged from May.

Over 38 per cent (up 5 per cent) said now is the good time to buy major household items while 14 per cent (down 2 per cent) considered it bad.

"Vietnamese consumer confidence has rebounded strongly over June on a number of factors, not just an abatement of China-Viet Nam tensions," Maguire said.

"Though the sharp CCI decline in May aligned with the growing political tensions, we believe this was correlated rather than causal.

"One of the key determinants of the consumer confidence in Viet Nam appears to be wealth effects derived from both the share market and the gold price, and consumer confidence has been tracking the evolution of financial assets closely since the beginning of the year."

He noted that this dynamic highlights the importance of income/wealth dynamics in driving consumer confidence in economies such as Viet Nam that are transiting from low-income to middle-income. — VNS