ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Two out of five Singaporean consumers are terrified of recession, says Nielsen

Job security is a top concern.

Intensifying economic jitters are taking their toll on Singaporean consumer confidence. Almost half of consumers in the city-state were wary about the risk of recession in the fourth quarter, according to the latest Consumer Confidence Index by Nielsen.

The survey revealed that 40% of respondents believed that they were in recession, up from 30% in the preceding quarter.

One in three or 30% of respondents cited job security and the economy as their top concerns, followed by work-life balance which was cited by 20% of those surveyed. Health and increasing food prices are the top concerns of 18% and 14% of respondents, respectively.

“The slowdown in China has a direct and broad-based impact on businesses and jobs in Singapore as China is the largest export destination for the nation," said Joan Koh, Nielsen's managing director for Singapore and Malaysia.

She added that layoffs in the financial sector due to a changing business environment, the weak macro economy and higher costs have also added to the rising concerns of job security and a lacklustre economy.

In response, more Singaporean consumers have chosen to cut their spending. A majority or 62% of respondents said that they will spend less on new clothes, while 50% of those surveyed said that they will cut down on holidays. Some 43% of respondents have also chosen to switch to cheaper grocery brands.

“As tepid global demand continued to influence a weaker manufacturing sector in Q4 2015 and an expected modest economic growth in 2015, Singaporeans have adopted a cautionary approach in their spending,” Koh added. 

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