Fri, Nov 16, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Public confidence in the economy falls for 4th month

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Public confidence in the economy fell for the fourth straight month this month, mainly due to concerns over the US’ fiscal cliff issue and the still sluggish global economy in the current environment of quantitative easing, a survey published by Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) showed yesterday.

The survey showed this month’s economic optimism index stood at minus-68.5 points, down from minus-64.2 points recorded last month, marking the second-lowest level in its history.

The economic outlook optimism index, which gauges public confidence for the six months ahead, also dropped to minus-41.8 from the minus-40.6 points recorded last month, the survey showed.

“The public’s confidence in the stock market, as well as people’s consumption momentum, both remained at a low level this month,” Cathay Financial, the nation’s largest financial services provider, said in its monthly statement.

However, a government measure requiring real-estate buyers to register actual transaction prices which was launched in August has boosted investors’ confidence in buying real estate, the statement said.

In related news, Ifo’s World Economic Climate Indicator continued to fall in the fourth quarter, the second quarter in a row, on the impact of less favorable assessments of the current economic situation and downwardly revised expectations for the six-month economic outlook.

The German institute’s quarterly survey, which polled 1,156 experts from 124 economies last month, showed its world economic climate indicator fell sharply to 82.4 points in the fourth quarter, from 85.1 in the previous quarter.

The level was lower than the world economic climate indicator’s long-term average of 96.7 points, the Ifo survey showed.

“The world economy is treading water,” the Munich-based Ifo research institute said in a release, adding that the majority of polled experts cited insufficient demand as the current main economic problem.

For Taiwan, most respondents gave bearish assessments of the nation’s overall economy, capital expenditure and private consumption, but expected overall sentiment to rebound in the near future, the Council for Economic Planning and Development said, citing the report.

However, most experts polled were bullish that exports and stock market performance in Taiwan may rise over the next six months, the council said in a statement.

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