The consumer confidence index (CCI) posted a third consecutive decline this month, reaching its lowest level in 33 months due to growing pessimism about the housing market, a National Central University survey showed yesterday.
The index dropped by 0.61 points from the previous month to 72.12 points, the university’s Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development said in a report.
The CCI benchmark gauges public expectations on 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 2,437 people over the age of 20 from Nov. 19 to Nov. 22 — showed mixed sentiments, with optimism on the economic outlook growing and pessimism about the five other sectors increasing.
The center’s director, Dachrahn Wu (吳大任), said the index’s 0.61 point drop is statistically insignificant as it is less than 2 points.
Only the figures on economic outlook and durable goods are statistically significant, he said.
The economic outlook sub-index rose by 2 points to 73.3 points, reflecting rising exports since September, Wu said.
The durable goods sub-index declined by 2.15 points to 86.75 points, its lowest figure for 34 months, the center’s data showed.
Wu said the luxury tax and decreasing housing loans caused the downward trend in the sub-index.
The declining confidence in the stock market was in line with the gloomy stock market sentiment on Thursday when the survey was conducted, he said.
Wu, however, added that the stock market had gained momentum since Friday, and if the CCI survey had been conducted later, the stock market sub-index might have been higher.
Looking ahead, Wu said if economic conditions continue to improve, confidence in household finances and the stock market will rise next month, pushing up the CCI as a result.