Filipino savers are rising – BSP

March 26, 2017

More Filipino households are able to save money, but how much is being put aside as contingent funds or even for future businesses and retirement varies depending on income.

Based on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) first quarter Consumer Expectations Survey (CES), 45.1 percent of Filipino families said they were able to save up during the quarter. The percentage of savers is higher compared to the previous quarter’s results of 41.1 percent.

The BSP, however, said households that could save up to 10 percent of their combined resources declined. “(The) proportion of those that could set aside 10 percent or more of their monthly gross family income was lower at 41.4 percent (from 42.4 percent in the last quarter of 2016),” according to the survey.
Overall, the BSP noted that the percentage of households with savings went up in the first quarter this year to 34.9 percent versus the previous survey’s 32.6 percent.

The households surveyed said money put aside is usually for emergencies, education, retirement, health and hospitalization. The saved funds are also for opportunities to set up a business and these would be used as capital and investment. Some of the respondents likewise said they are raising money to purchase real estate in the future.

About 67.6 percent of household savers had bank deposit accounts while 39.6 percent kept their savings at home, said the BSP. Another 22.9 percent place their saved up cash in cooperatives, “paluwagan” and other credit/loan associations, as well as investment in stocks and insurance including payments for Social Security System and Pag-IBIG Fund.

Generally, based on the CES, consumers see inflation and interest rates to gradually increase and the exchange rate to depreciate in the next months. These factors will affect how much they could save up.
The BSP survey includes the saving behavior of households with an overseas Filipino as member of the family. For the first quarter tally, there were 485 households that have OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) as source of income.

The central bank said 98.1 percent of OFW households used remittances that they received to spend for food and other household needs.

The proportion of households that said so as well as those that allotted part of their remittances for purchase of consumer durables (22.5 percent) and other miscellaneous expenses (3.9 percent) increased,” said the BSP.

The survey noted that 68.2 percent of OFW households spend part of their remittances for education, 53 percent for medical expenses, and 36.9 percent for savings. About 31.3 percent are allotted for debt payments, 12.4 percent for the purchase of house, 6.4 percent for purchase of motor vehicles and 6.2 percent for investment.

The BSP data, other than the CES, showed that 43.2 percent of Filipinos are considered savers and majority of them put savings at home or about 68.3 percent of those who saves.

About 47.1 percent of Filipinos have loans and BSP said that most of them or 72 percent of those who borrow, sourced it from informal means – these are family, friends and informal lenders.