Thu, Mar 28, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Consumer confidence continues to rebound: report

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

The consumer confidence index rebounded for the third consecutive month this month, mainly driven by the public’s rising interest in purchasing durable goods, a National Central University survey showed yesterday.

The index rose to 76.01 this month, an increase of 0.77 points from the previous month, marking the highest level since June last year.

The index gauges public expectations of stock market performance, household finances, durable goods, job opportunities, consumer prices and the economic outlook for the next six months.

This month’s survey showed improvements in five sectors, while expectations on the stock market remained flat, the university’s Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development said.

The sub-index of durable goods showed the biggest increase among all the six sub-indices, gaining 2.7 points from the previous month to 90.5, its third straight increase, the center said in its report.

“The government measure to register real-estate transaction prices seems to have finally helped raise the number residential property market transactions,” center director Dachrahn Wu (吳大任) said by telephone.

Most potential buyers of real estate had been maintaining a wait-and-see policy following the launch of the real-estate price registration policy in August last year, but improved transparency in the residential property market has made more people make up their mind on real-estate purchases since the Lunar New Year holiday, Wu said.

Compared with the public’s rising expectations on durable goods, the stock market outlook remained unchanged from the previous month at 60 points, as the Cyprus banking crisis affected respondents’ confidence, Wu added.

The sub-index on job opportunities inched up 1.05 points from a month earlier to 107.25 this month, staying above the 100-point minimum optimism threshold for the 24th consecutive month, the report showed.

Meanwhile, the economic outlook sub-index increased 0.45 points to 76.6 this month from last month, followed by the household finance and consumer prices sub-indices, both up 0.2 points from a month ago at 75.4 and 46.25 respectively, the report said.

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