Singaporeans worried about work-life balance
Singapore - Work-life balance is the biggest concern for Singapore employees even though their personal spending power remains one of the highest globally.
The latest Nielsen Global Online Survey showed that 15% of Singaporeans worry about their work-life balance, compared with 12% in Asia Pacific (APAC). However, with the nation's consumer confidence index ranking at 109 points in the first quarter this year, 64% of local respondents said their personal finances are in an "excellent/good" state. The country was ranked seventh most confident globally this quarter.
Singaporeans are equally optimistic about their job prospects, with a majority predicting their career growth to be excellent or good over the next 12 months. The average across APAC was 66%, with confidence boosted by continuing high employment growth.
But three-quarters of respondents are looking at saving or investing their money even though they have the ability to spend more now. Rising food prices were the second top concern for 13% this quarter, up 5% from previous quarter. It was fourth place last year. Regionally, a fifth of consumers rated inflation as their biggest worry.
Some 38% plan to invest in stock or mutual funds, up five percentage points from previous quarter. On saving measures, close to a third will spend less on new clothes, 29% will switch to cheaper grocery brands and 44% will cut down on gas and electricity. Slightly under half will reduce their out-of-home entertainment expenses.
Joan Koh, managing director for Nielsen in Singapore, said recent global events have made many consumers wary of the possible financial fallout for them. "The political unrest in the Middle East, fiscal uncertainties in various European countries, and natural disasters in the region cast doubts over the momentum of recovery from the global recession."
Koh added, "Thus, many feel that it would be prudent to save for rainy days, or are taking advantage of relatively cheaper asset valuations to get into the market."
The survey was conducted between March 23 and April 12 this year. It polled more than 28,000 consumers in 51 countries.
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