The consumer confidence index (CCI) posted its first monthly decline this year, mainly due to worsening confidence in the local stock market and rising consumer prices, a National Central University survey showed yesterday.
The index was down 2.34 points to 78.92 this month, the survey showed.
The CCI benchmark gauges public expectations about the stock market, household finances, durable goods, job opportunities, consumer prices and the economic outlook for the next six months.
This month’s survey — which polled 2,438 people over the age of 20 from Thursday to Saturday last week — only showed improving sentiment on job opportunities, while uncertainty over the other five sectors expanded, the university’s Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development said.
The stock market sub-index led the decliners this month, plunging 5.4 points to 59.1, the center said in a report.
“The uncertainty over the proposed levy of a capital gains tax on securities investments dragged down consumer confidence,” center director Dachrahn Wu (吳大任) told a press conference.
However, Day Jaw-yang (戴肇洋), a division director at the Taiwan Research Institute (台灣綜合研究院), who also attended the press conference, said he expects the factor to be a short-term uncertainty, an indication that a decline in the sub-index might not last too long.
The consumer prices sub-index dropped 3.3 points from a month ago to 52.05 amid public worries that the hike in electricity and gasoline prices would increase overall inflationary pressure, Wu said.
The same factor also brought down the household finances sub-index by 3.2 points to 80.7, with the sub-indices on economic outlook and durable goods down 1.1 points and 1.55 percent to 83.35 and 91.4 respectively, the report showed.
The job opportunities sub-index rose 0.6 points from a month earlier to 107, marking the fifth consecutive monthly increase and an indication that it remains on a modest-growth track, data showed.