Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Consumer confidence reaches record level

By Amy Su  /  Staff Reporter

Despite the recent stock market decline, the consumer confidence index (CCI) hit a record high for the second straight month on the back of bullish sentiment about the job market and household finances in the near term, a National Central University survey showed yesterday.

The benchmark index rose 0.05 points from a month earlier to stand at 86.89 this month, the highest level since the survey first began in January 2001, 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 between Aug. 19 and Aug. 22 — showed increasing public uncertainty over stock performance, while sentiment concerning the other five sectors remained flat or improved.

“Consumers’ rising uncertainty about stock performance reflects their concerns about the drops in global markets in the past few weeks,” Tai Chao-yang (戴肇洋), a division director at the Taiwan Research Institute (台灣綜合研究院), said by telephone.

The sub-index for stock performance dropped 4.5 points to 75.7, the report showed.

However, Tai expects the stock performance sub-index to rebound next month since the local bourse has fully accounted for the uncertainties.

In addition, the nation’s relatively strong economic momentum is another factor that will maintain consumers’ bullish sentiment during the next six months, Tai said.

The sub-index for job opportunities was the top performer of the six sectors with an increase of 2.35 points to 108.8 this month, while the sub-index for household finances surged 0.45 points to 86.45, the survey’s data showed.

These two sub-indices both hit their highest levels ever, while the sub-index of the economic outlook — which remained unchanged at 93.55 this month — also stayed at the record high level.

The sub-index for consumer prices increased 1.65 points to 53.85, while the sub-index for durable goods stood at 103, up 0.35 points from a month earlier, data showed.

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