The consumer confidence index (CPI) this month showed its first monthly decline this year, mainly on the impact of the weak outlook for the stock market amid rising concerns over the end of quantitative easing in the US, a National Central University survey showed yesterday.
The index fell by 3.17 points from a month earlier to 75.08, terminating the rising trend of the previous five straight months, the survey by the university’s Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development showed.
The index gauges public expectations of the stock market’s performance, household finances, durable goods, job opportunities, consumer prices and the economic outlook for the next six months.
This month’s survey — which polled 2,426 people over the age of 20 from Wednesday to Saturday last week — showed that respondents’ concerns about all six components have increased, the center said in its monthly report.
Public confidence in the stock market saw the biggest decline, dropping 8.7 points from last month to 61.4, ending the rising pace recorded for the previous six months in a row, the report said.
“The results showed rising public concern over the impact of the end of the US’ quantitative easing and China’s move to tighten monetary policy on the stock market,” center director Dachrahn Wu (吳大任) said by telephone yesterday.
The household finances sub-index also declined to its lowest level since June 2010, dropping 3 points to 71.25 this month, as the stagnation of real wages dragged down disposable household income, Wu added.
In related news, manufacturing sentiment for last month showed slight improvement after exports returned to growth, with the annual decline in export orders and industrial production contracting, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台灣經濟研究院) said yesterday.
The manufacturing sector flashed a “yellow-blue” light — implying weak sentiment — for the second straight month last month, with the cyclical movements surging to 10.77 points last month, up 0.25 points from a revised 10.52 points in April, the Taipei-based think tank said in its monthly report.