The consumer confidence index (CCI) showed a slight rebound this month, terminating the falling trend for the previous four straight months, mainly due to consumers’ stronger confidence about investing in the stock market, a National Central University survey showed yesterday.
The index rose 0.1 points from a month earlier to 75.18 this month, after dropping to its lowest level in more than two years last month, the survey showed.
The CCI benchmark gauges public expectations of 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 2,424 people over the age of 20 from Aug. 19 to Aug. 23 — showed improving sentiment over the stock market and job opportunities, while concerns over the other four sectors increased, the university’s Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development said.
The stock market sub-index led the rebound by growing 5.9 points to 49.5 this month, followed by the job opportunities sub-index, which increased 0.5 points to 108.95, the center said in a report.
“The results showed significant rebound in consumer confidence about the stock market over the near future,” center director Dachrahn Wu (吳大任) said by telephone.
The public’s stronger confidence in the stock market also indicated overall economic sentiment may further recover in the second half of this year, as the equity market was the leading indicator for the economy, Wu said.
However, the economic outlook sub-index fell 3.15 points to 75.35, marking the largest drop among the six sub-indicators.
Wu said the decline reflected the weak performance of various domestic indicators, such as the contraction in exports and the continuous flash of a sluggish “blue light” for the economy.
However, following the launch of new electronic products — such as Apple Inc’s iPhone and Microsoft Corp’s Windows 8 operating system — sales of Taiwan’s electronic contract makers may be supported and further raise the overall economy, Wu added.
The sub-index for household finances decreased 1.5 points from a month ago to 77.6 this month, while the sub-index for durable goods and consumer prices sliding 0.65 points and 0.45 points respectively to 90.25 and 49.45 this month, data showed.