Thu, Jul 28, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Expectations rise as Taiwan’s CCI hits record high

REACHING NEW HIGHS:According to a survey last week, sentiments about the economy, job market and household finances have improved

By Amy Su  /  Staff Reporter

The consumer confidence index (CCI) hit a record high this month, providing more evidence that consumers are bullish about the next six months thanks to the improving job market and the upcoming increase of the minimum wage, a National Central University survey showed yesterday.

The benchmark index surged 1.56 points from a month earlier to stand at 86.84 points this month, breaking its record-high of 86.78 in January, the university’s Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development said in a report.

The CCI benchmark gauges public expectations regarding stock performance, household finances, durable goods, job opportunities, consumer prices and the economic outlook for the next six months.

This month’s survey — which polled 2,420 people nationwide over the age of 20 from Tuesday through Friday last week — showed increasing public uncertainty over consumer prices, while sentiment concerning the other five sectors improved.

“The sub-indices of economic outlook, job opportunities and household finances climbed to new highs this month, helping boost the benchmark index,“ center director Hsu Chih-chiang (徐之強) told a media briefing.

The sub-index for job opportunities topped the six sectors by increasing 3 points to 106.45 this month amid improving unemployment figures, with the number of workers losing their jobs through business closures or downsizing continuing to fall this year, National Central University vice principal Joseph Lee (李誠) said.

“The number [of layoffs] declined to 143,000 last month, compared with 175,000 in January,” Lee said, citing the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics’ latest data.

Expectations about the minimum wage hike also led the sub-index for economic outlook to surge 2.7 points to 93.55, while also helping to boost the sub-index for household finances to 86 points, from last month’s 84.75 points, the survey’s data showed.

The sub-index for stock performance increased 1.8 points to 87.2, while the sub-index for durable goods stood at 102.65 points, up 0.7 points from a month earlier, data showed.

However, consumer prices remained an area of uncertainty in the second quarter, Hsu said.

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