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     FrontPage Edition: Sat 4 November 2006

Survey shows Singaporeans upbeat about the near future


Global consumer confidence sustained; though consumers remain cautious about spending: ACNielsen

Singaporeans are upbeat about the near future and local job prospects

Global consumer confidence remains at 2005 levels, with Indians leading the world on the 2006 ACNielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index followed by the Norwegians and Danes. Singapore ranks 11th globally.
¡°Back home, Singaporeans registered an increased level of optimism in this latest survey compared to the previous period and a year ago. The Singapore Consumer Confidence Index climbed 7 points to reach a high of 110¡ªsurpassing the regional average of 94,¡± observed Mr Ashok Charan, Managing Director of ACNielsen Research Singapore.
¡°It represents a year on year improvement from May 2005 where Singapore¡¯s Consumer Confidence Index was 99.¡±
Asia Pacific continues to house the most optimistic consumers of all with six of the Global Top 10 markets surveyed situated in the region. Compared to the previous period, moreover, Hong Kong (111), Indonesia (111), Singapore (110), and the Philippines (100) showed strengthened optimism.
Major Concerns
In Singapore, the Economy (54%), Job Security (45%), and Health (42%) continue to be the top three concerns amongst locals. With the anxiety over Health and Terrorism receding over the last six months, Singaporeans are now more focused on the Economy.

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¡°Fundamentals such as the economy and employment will remain as top concerns among locals even in good times. Singaporeans¡¯ optimistic sentiment is set to continue, in light of the positive economic growth in the first half and favorable outlook reported by the government for the year,¡± commented Mr Charan.
In Singapore, locals have registered greater optimism in the recent survey on all aspects¡ªjob prospects (+7%), personal finances (+6%), and intention to spend (+7%), compared to six months ago.

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It¡¯s worth mentioning that Asian markets of Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia are among the most optimistic consumers during this round of the survey.

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Amongst Singaporeans, the key priorities continue to be saving their spare cash (60%), followed by spending on Holidays/Vacations (49%). Next on the list are Clothes shopping (29%), Paying off debts/credit card bills/loans (28%), and spending on New Technology gadgets (25%).
The ACNielsen Online Consumer Confidence and Opinion Survey is the largest half-yearly survey of its kind aiming at gauging current confidence levels, spending habits/intentions and current major concerns of consumers across the globe.
The ACNielsen Consumer Confidence Index is developed based on consumer¡¯s confidence in the job market, status of their personal finance and their readiness to spend.
The latest survey, conducted in late May/early June, polled about 21,780 internet users in 40 markets from Europe, Asia Pacific, North America to the Baltics.

Full Text of Press Release

Source: Press Release 4 Sep 2006 (Excerpted)

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