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Jamaican consumers more optimistic, but holding off on spending – pollster

Published:Wednesday | April 20, 2016 | 4:14 AM

Jerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter

Despite having a positive outlook on the economy, Jamaicans have signalled that they will be holding back on spending.

That is according to the latest Consumer Confidence Index.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, pollster, Don Anderson, said the Index shows that consumer confidence in the first quarter of 2016 saw an improvement over the last quarter of 2015 as well as the corresponding first quarter of 2015.

The Consumer Confidence Index was 147.9 in the first  quarter of 2016, up from the 124.4 recorded in the fourth quarter of 2015 and 114.3 recorded one year ago. 

Anderson also said that Jamaicans have indicated that they have a higher expectation for job gains and improvements in their incomes.

PHOTO: Pollster, Don Anderson

He pointed out that future job growth was expected by 42 per cent of consumers in the first quarter and that nearly half of all Jamaicans, or 48 per cent, anticipated income gains.

However, the pollster noted that despite the improved optimism about future economic conditions and personal finances, purchase plans remained largely unchanged. 

Anderson said Jamaicans are being mindful about their spending.

 

Pollster Don Anderson

The survey shows that vehicle buying intentions by Jamaicans for the first quarter of 2016 were unchanged from last quarter at 16 per cent and that the home buying intentions fell slightly to 10 per cent  from 11 per cent.

It noted that the only gain was in vacation plans, which were held by 38 per cent, barely above last quarter’s 37 per cent.