Thu, Nov 30, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Confidence index drops to five-year low, survey shows

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The nation's consumer confidence index this month dropped to a five-year-low on growing concern over household finances and Taiwan's economic expansion over the next six-month period, a survey showed yesterday.

This could represent another sign of a downward trend for the nation's economy.

The consumer confidence index fell 6.63 points to 67.48 points, from 74.11 points a year ago, a survey conducted by National Central University on behalf of the government showed.

"Most of the six sub-indices are lower than the 100-point benchmark, indicating pessimistic sentiment [about the next six months]," the university's Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development said.

The results coincided with the government's cut in its forecast for Taiwan's annual GDP to 4.12 percent next year, from an earlier estimate of 4.13 percent.

Among the six categories tracked by the university, the sub-index of household finances, which remained steady in the past months, experienced the biggest slide, from 61.65 points a year ago to 54 points last month and 53.4 points this month.

Consumers also worried about the macroeconomic expansion as reflected in the decline in the sub-index of the nation's economic outlook for the next six months. The sub-index was down 10.7 points year-on-year, or 0.45 points month-on-month, to 51.8 points.

The sub-index of investment in stock markets was the only sub-index to exhibit a rise from last month. The sub-index rose two points, from 66.1 points last month, but still showed a decline of 2.3 points over the same period last year, the center said.

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