TransUnion (NYSE:) Philippines has released findings indicating a shift in the financial behavior of Filipinos, revealing a trend towards conservative spending and an emphasis on financial resilience strategies in response to economic strains such as rising interest rates and expensive commodities. The report, published today, shows that while optimism about future earnings remains high, there is a notable decrease in the number of households reporting income increases—down to 44% from 48% last year. Conversely, those with stable incomes have risen slightly to 39%.
Despite these challenges, Filipino families are taking proactive steps to fortify their financial standing. Over half of the respondents (51%) are focusing on building emergency funds, with 34% working towards settling debts more quickly. When faced with immediate financial issues, strategies include making affordable payments (46%), using savings (45%), or seeking assistance from personal networks (38%).
The study also points out that job losses have marginally increased, affecting one-fifth of families, while salary cuts and reduced work hours are impacting nearly one-quarter. This has led consumers to prioritize spending on essentials and cut back on luxury items.
Credit interest among Filipinos has slightly declined, with less than three-fifths of respondents expressing interest compared to 64% last year. Perceived credit accessibility has diminished since last year as well, with over half preferring personal loans but deterred by the high costs associated with borrowing.
TransUnion emphasizes the importance of consumer credit awareness during these uncertain times, particularly as digital fraud concerns remain significant. Most respondents report encountering phishing attempts and have heightened anxiety about sharing personal data online due to fears of identity theft.
Adding to the concern over digital security, Pia Arellano highlighted substantial losses amounting to P155 million due to online frauds from January through August this year. This underscores the critical need for trust in digital transactions and the protection of consumer information.
Filipino consumers are evidently adjusting their financial habits in light of economic instability by increasing savings for emergencies and accelerating debt repayment. While some expect higher expenses on essential bills and necessities, there is a clear trend toward reducing discretionary spending on items such as automobiles and digital products.
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