Consumer confidence changed little recently, indicating that consumers remained optimistic about economic growth over the next six months, according to a survey released by the National Central University yesterday.
However, the survey showed that the risk of inflation continued to concern people.
The consumer confidence index (CCI) fell 0.38 points this month from the previous month to 85.4, as the public also became more concerned about the local stock market, the university’s Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development said in a report.
The CCI benchmark gauges public expectations regarding stock performances, household finances, durable goods, job opportunities, consumer prices and the economic outlook for the next six months.
“Although the consumer price sub-index rose 0.3 points to 51.4 this month, the figure is still far from 100 points, the level of flat sentiment, indicating that respondents were still worried about inflation in the near term,” center director Hsu Chih-chiang (徐之強) said by telephone.
This month’s survey — which polled 2,430 people over the age of 20 nationwide from May 19 to May 22 — showed increasing public uncertainty over stock performances, while sentiment regarding the other five sectors improved.
“Analyzing this month’s figures, most respondents still had a flat to positive attitude toward the economy for the next six months as the jobless rate and average monthly pay figures improve,” Hsu said.
The economic outlook, job -opportunity and household finance sub-indices surged to record-high levels this month, while the sub-indices for commodity prices and stock performance remained major concerns, the report said.
The sub-index for stock performances fell by 9 points to 81.8, as a downturn in the TAIEX this month and rising uncertainty over the eurozone’s debt crisis affected public confidence on investing in the local bourse, Hsu said.