Vietnamese consumers remain pessimistic: Nielsen

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Vietnam's consumer confidence fell to the lowest level in the first quarter since mid 2010 as most consumers said they will refrain from buying even the products that they need, a new Nielsen survey found.

The decline is a contrast to an increase of five points to 94 in the global consumer confidence index, the market research company said in Thursday.

According to Nielsen, the consumer confidence index for Vietnam dipped five points versus the previous quarter to stand at 94 points in the first quarter as consumers remain concerned about the economic situation. The survey also revealed that three out of every four Vietnamese online consumers believe it is not a good time to buy the things they want and need over the next 12 months.

The sentiment remains pessimistic, with 68 percent of respondents indicating that Vietnam would not be out of the economic recession in the next 12 months, a 3 percent increase versus Q4 2011, the company said.

Vietnam's inflation rate slowed in April, according to data released by the General Statistics Office. Consumer prices climbed 10.54 percent from a year earlier, compared to 14.15 percent in March. Experts, however, say the inflation slowdown might be temporary only.

Around the world, consumer confidence rose in all regions, Nielsen said. North America posted the biggest regional gain, up eight index points to 92 while Asia-Pacific had an index of 103, up four points. Meanwhile, confidence in Europe rose one point to 72.

India remained the world's most optimistic market for the ninth consecutive quarter, followed by Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

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