Tue, Oct 23, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Taiwan’s consumer confidence lowest in region: study

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s consumer confidence in the third quarter was the lowest in the Greater China region, while China posted the highest level, according to a seasonal survey released yesterday.

The consumer confidence index (CCI) readings for Taiwan, China, Macau and Hong Kong in the period between July and last month were 71.8, 94.8, 84.9 and 77.9 respectively, data compiled by five universities showed.

Taiwan was the only one among the four where the index dropped — by 0.2 percent from the previous season — while Hong Kong’s went up 0.4 percent and China’s surged by 7.6 percent. The index for Macau remained unchanged.

Taiwan’s CCI has eight sub-indices, while the other three each have six.

Among the eight categories, Taiwanese consumers’ confidence in consumer price conditions declined by 3.5 percent to a reading of 46.4 due to fuel and electricity rate hikes effected in June, the report said.

Local consumers also lacked confidence in the other sub-indices, including the job market (79.4), household finances (71.5), the stock market (84), the country’s economic outlook (60.5) and housing purchases (85.8).

In China, confidence in consumer prices was the lowest, with a reading of 72 reflecting a drop of 3.5 percent.

However, Chinese consumers showed higher confidence in the other five sub-indices — 116.2 in economic outlook, 113.5 in living conditions, 105.6 in employment, 81.7 in investment and 79.6 in housing purchases, the report said.

Hong Kong and Macau posted 51.2 and 54.4 respectively for the consumer price category, which were the second-lowest scores of the five in the two areas.

Consumers in Hong Kong and Macau were the least confident in housing purchases due to the consistently high housing prices there, with the reading for Hong Kong at 43.4 and Macau at 47.3, representing a decline of 5.8 and 5.4 percent respectively.

The surveys launched in 2008 were conducted and compiled by Taiwan’s Fu Jen University, City University of Hong Kong, Central University of Finance and Economics and Capital University of Economics and Business in China, as well as Macau University of Science and Technology.

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