Thu, Dec 19, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Public pessimistic on economy: survey

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Public confidence in the economy turned more pessimistic this month, as exports remained in the doldrums, a Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) survey showed yesterday.

A total of 41.9 percent of respondents believed that economic conditions would dim in the coming six months, up from 39 percent one month earlier, the survey showed.

“The sentiment change reflects stagnating economic barometers, especially exports, which grew a tiny 0.9 percent year-on-year in November,” Achilles Chen (陳欽奇), a research assistant manager at Cathay Financial, said in the report.

Sluggish exports prompted the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics last month to trim its forecast for GDP growth next year to 2.59 percent, from its prior estimate of 3.37 percent.

Only 20.2 percent of respondents expect the economy to improve going forward, compared with 21.7 percent one month earlier, the survey showed.

Expectations that wages would be stagnant weighed on sentiment, with 51.9 percent of respondents predicting that their salaries would remain the same next year, the poll showed.

A big majority, or 86.3 percent, forecast that consumer prices would rise in the coming six months, though government estimates suggest an insignificant change, it said.

The survey also found that 53.5 percent of those polled expect to receive annual bonuses equivalent to one to three months of pay, while 41.6 percent expect to receive less than one month.

The survey polled 23,617 Cathay Financial customers via e-mail between Dec. 1 and Dec. 7.

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