Vietnamese are spending less, saving more despite improved sentiment: survey

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People shop for fruits at a supermarket in Hanoi. Photo credit: Reuters People shop for fruits at a supermarket in Hanoi. Photo credit: Reuters
Although Vietnamese consumer confidence has significantly improved, the top priority for them remains to be saving, a new Nielsen survey found.
Up to 86 percent of local consumers have adjusted their spending habits over the past 12 months to save household expenses because more than half of consumers think that the country is in an economic recession at the moment. 
Notably, 62 percent of consumers have reduced their spending on new clothes and 57 percent have cut down on out of home entertainment.
Overall Southeast Asian consumers continue to be among the world’s most avid savers, with close to 61 percent channeling their spare cash into savings, compared to just 48 percent globally. The ratio in Vietnam is 78 percent, versus 74 percent in Indonesia and 66 percent in Singapore.
Vietnamese save more even as consumer confidence increases significantly. Vietnam, according to the survey, is now the sixth most optimistic country globally. 
Vaughan Ryan, managing director of Nielsen Vietnam, said that Vietnam is still a very young and optimistic country, with 57 percent of the population under 35 years old.
This optimism is further inspired by the fact that the average Vietnamese consumer has more money to spend on themselves and an aspiration to be better each day, he said.
Although most Vietnamese consumers are prioritizing their spare cash into savings, the survey revealed that, after covering essential living expenses, nearly a half of Vietnamese consumers are willing to spend on big ticket items such as holidays and vacations and new technology products.
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, also measures major concerns. In Vietnam, 19 percent of consumers are concerned about their health, compared to 15 percent about the economy, and 16 percent about job security. 

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