A third of households are saving–BSP poll

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NEARLY a third of Filipino households can set aside savings for the current quarter, according to the latest survey results released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Data from the Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) for the first quarter of 2023 showed some 34 percent of Filipino households can save funds for a rainy day.

The data also showed that 32.9 percent of households nationwide already had savings as of the first quarter of 2023.

“The increase in the overall percentage of savers was mainly due to the higher percentage of households with savings in the low- and middle-income groups, which outweighed the decline in the percentage of savers in the high-income group,” BSP said.

The number of households saying they could save in the first quarter was higher than the 31.5 percent posted in the last quarter of 2022 and the 29.5 percent recorded in the first quarter of 2022.

However, the proportion of those that would set aside at least 10 percent of their monthly gross family income for savings declined to 35.2 percent from 37.9 percent a quarter ago.

Meanwhile, the percentage of those that would set aside less than 10 percent for their savings rose to 64.8 percent from 62.1 percent in Q4 2022

Among those who already had savings, the data in the first quarter was higher than the 30.5 percent posted in the last quarter of 2022 and 31.1 percent in the first quarter of last year.

Savings in bank

BSP data showed that 82.8 percent of households with savings kept their savings in a bank, higher than the 76.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022. A large proportion of households at 88.3 percent kept their savings at home.

Some 92.3 percent considered other institutions such as cooperatives, paluwagan, credit/loan associations, investments, and other institutions such as microfinance and insurance for the safekeeping of their savings.

“According to the respondents, they saved money for the following reasons: emergencies, health and medical expenses, retirement, education, and house purchase,” BSP said.

Debt situation

THE BSP data showed 22.8 percent of households or 1 in every 5 households availed of a loan in the last 12 months, which is lower than the 24 percent recorded in the previous quarter’s survey results.

By income group, loan utilization, as measured by the percentage of households that availed of a loan in the last 12 months, was highest among the low-income group at 23.6 percent, followed by the middle- and high-income groups at 23.5 percent and 21.2 percent, respectively.

Most households used their loan proceeds in the last 12 months to purchase basic goods at 52.1 percent of households; followed by business start-up/expansion, 25.4 percent; education-related expenses, 15.2 percent; health-related expenses, 13.3 percent; and payment of other debts, 11.2 percent.

BSP said in terms of percentage share to total outstanding balance, real estate loans accounted for 33 percent. This was followed by business start-up/expansion at 17.9 percent; purchase of vehicles, 16.1 percent; purchase of basic goods, 11.2 percent; and health-related expenses, 6.5 percent.

Notably, 81.9 percent of their loans were paid on schedule, 10 percent were ahead of schedule, while 8.2 percent were behind schedule.