Vietnamese consumer confidence undergoes a "correction': survey

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Consumer confidence in Vietnam slipped a few notches in the first quarter of the year, bringing the country down seven spots in the list of most confident nations, a global survey has found.

While the confidence meter lost 8 points and dipped to 100, Vietnam still stood 9 points ahead of the global average going by the Nielsen global consumer confidence index.

"We view this as a slight correction rather than a significant decline in Vietnamese confidence from the second half 2009 results,"  Darin Williams, Managing Director at The Nielsen Company Vietnam, said in a statement published Friday.

"As in 2009, the confidence jumped significantly and like other markets, we believe the massive government stimulus programs announced, including in Vietnam, was partly the reason," he said.

Despite a relatively positive outlook on jobs and finances, 54 percent of Vietnamese consumers stated that the timing was "not so good" to buy the things they want and need, the Nielsen survey found.

"Consumers in Vietnam are still hesitant to go out and spend money, yet the results indicate that there is a willingness to spend on new products. Companies that focus on value and quality and targeted promotions will be the ones to drive consumption throughout Vietnam," said Williams.

Globally, the consumer confidence index reached 92 in the first quarter this year, just two points lower than of the score posted in the third quarter of 2007, before the recession swept across the world, the market research firm said.

Consumer confidence levels have reached pre-downturn levels in some countries, while some others remain quite skittish about the economy, it said.

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