Tue, Sep 21, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Taiwanese turn more conservative on economy: poll

By Crystal Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwanese turned more conservative this month about the economic outlook as many expect jobs to remain hard to find and consider now a bad time for property transactions, a survey released by Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) showed yesterday.

The monthly survey, which had 4,219 valid samples, indicated that only 32.3 percent of respondents thought the economy would improve slightly in the next six months, while 31.6 percent said it would remain unchanged.

BEARISH

A total of 19.1 percent said they expected the economy to deteriorate, with another 6 percent expecting an obvious retreat, the survey said.

The findings are in line with the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics’ forecast last month that annual GDP growth would slow to 6.9 percent this quarter and 1.37 percent next quarter. That would pale in comparison with the 13.71 percent and 12.53 percent growth recorded in the first and second quarters respectively.

Nearly 39 percent of respondents believed the job market was unlikely to improve in the coming six months, while 32.3 percent said it would be more difficult to find a job, the survey said, adding that only 18.3 percent expected job-hunting to be easier.

HOUSE BUYING

As many as 72.7 percent said they considered now a bad time to buy homes, while 48.5 percent said it was not wise to sell houses either, the survey said.

The findings are likely to dampen housing transactions, which last month dropped to the level at the onset of the global financial crisis in September 2008.

However, the respondents appeared more confident about stock performance as 35.3 percent thought the TAIEX would gain strength in the next six months, while 28.3 percent expected the index to fall, the survey said.

A total of 49.9 percent said they had no plans to increase their stock holdings, while 22.5 percent expressed willingness to channel more cash or time deposits to the local bourse, the survey said.

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