Tue, Jun 28, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Consumer confidence slackens for second month

GLOBAL FACTORS:Public concerns regarding the local stock market have grown as continuing high unemployment in the US and EU debt woes dampen expectations

By Amy Su  /  Staff Reporter

The nation’s consumer confidence slowed for the second consecutive month this month, providing more evidence that consumers’ bullish sentiment over the next six months is likely to slow amid rising uncertainties about the global economy, a National Central -University -survey showed yesterday.

The consumer confidence index (CCI) fell 0.12 points this month from the previous month to 85.28, as public concerns increase regarding 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.

This month’s survey — which polled 2,424 people over the age of 20 nationwide from June 19 to Wednesday last week — showed -increasing -public -uncertainty over stock performance and durable goods, while sentiments regarding the other four sectors improved.

“The overall decreases this month reflected more conservative consumer confidence resulting from the slower US economy and the eurozone’s debt crisis,” center director Hsu Chih-chiang (徐之強) said by telephone.

The subindex for stock performances fell by 2.7 points to 78.4, marking the lowest level since May last year, as a downturn in the TAIEX in the past two months affected public confidence on investing in the local bourse, Hsu said.

The luxury tax, which was implemented on June 1, also hit consumer confidence on purchasing durable goods, such as luxury cars, making the subindex decline an additional 0.1 points to 101.95 this month, he added.

As for consumer prices, Hsu said that although the -subindex climbed 0.85 this month, the 52.25 points figure remains in the “extreme pessimistic” level, reflecting increasing inflationary pressure in the second half of the year.

However, the other three subindices — economic outlook, job opportunities and household finances — surged to record-high levels for the second consecutive month this month, indicating that the public remains optimistic about the economy over the next six months, Hsu said.

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