By Michelle Tay
HAVING a rice bowl - and eating from it - matters most to Singaporeans.
A new survey has found that even before
Synovate, a global market research company, surveyed the consumer attitudes of 7,400 respondents in 10 countries, between the months of August and November.
The firm found that four out of 10 Singaporeans listed 'losing my job' as their top fear going into a recession.
Their second biggest fear was not having enough food.
Indeed, when asked which items they would first give up when tightening their belts, none of those surveyed said they would cut back on food.
Nearly three out of 10 Singaporeans said holidays would be the first to go. Next on the list was branded items - which 18 per cent of respondents said they would cut out first - while 13 per cent would forgo high-tech gadgets.
Companies across all sectors are retrenching staff. The latest figures show that the resident unemployment rate in
US private employers cut 250,000 jobs in November, an unexpectedly large number and the biggest in seven years, while the service sector, which powers most of the economy, posted its worst slump on record.
Wednesday's reports were the latest signs that the slide in the
Companies are cutting jobs at breakneck speed, with Credit Suisse, Nomura Holdings, State Street Corp and Canon Inc announcing job cuts totalling almost 10,000 on Wednesday.
Clearly, the fear of losing one's rice bowl is not unique to Singaporeans.
Respondents in six out of the 10 countries - including
Being unable to pay mortgage or rent was Americans' top fear, followed by the fear of losing their jobs.
Among the responses from those surveyed in other countries included the fear of losing money from investments.
In shopping capital
Meanwhile, 56 per cent of Singaporeans surveyed said they have spent less on luxury goods in the last six months.
They have also cut down in impulse buying - and even necessities.
Marketers said even in tough times, brands need to continue to invest in ensuring they remain visible to consumers.
Mr David Mayo, vice president of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Asia Pacific, said: 'The people who will benefit are those who can deliver and provide an all-encompassing customer experience.'
'A recession is the point to pick up new customers. And coming out of a recession is when you make them loyal customers,' he added.- Straits Times,