Consumer sentiment improved in Q4 2012 as the overall confidence index (CI) climbed to -10.4 percent in Q4 2012 from -13.3 percent in Q3 2012. This is the second highest reading since the nationwide survey started in Q1 2007. The CI is computed as the percentage of households that answered in the affirmative less the percentage of households that answered in the negative with respect to their views on a given indicator. The higher (but still negative) CI in Q4 2012 means that the number of households with an optimistic outlook increased but they continued to be outnumbered by those who think otherwise. Respondents cited the following factors for their improved sentiment: (a) more jobs as a result of more working family members, (b) additional income and higher salary, (c) increasing investment inflows, (d) improvements in infrastructure and (e) better governance.
Looking ahead, consumer expectations for the next quarter and the year ahead remained positive, with the CIs at 6.3 percent and 16.8 percent, respectively. This indicates that the optimists continued to top the pessimists for the next quarter and the year ahead. Consumers are confident that improvements in the economy and family finances will be carried over to the next 12 months.
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