The consumer confidence index declined this month, mainly due to the recent protests against the controversial cross-strait service trade agreement, a National Central University survey showed yesterday.
The index stood at 80.96 this month, down 1.97 points from last month’s 82.93 — which was the highest level in more than two years — the university’s Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development said.
The index gauges public expectations about the local stock market’s performance, household finances, durable goods, job opportunities, consumer prices and the economic outlook for the next six months.
The survey — which polled 2,433 people over the age of 20 from Wednesday to Sunday last week — showed rising concern for all six categories this month.
“Various global and domestic uncertainties arose after the Lunar New Year holiday,” center director Dachrahn Wu (吳大任) said by telephone.
The US Federal Reserve’s move to gradually reduce quantitative easing and rising consumer prices in Taiwan, as well as the recent protests against the service trade agreement dragged down the index, Wu said.
However, the index was still above 80 points, higher than his expectations, Wu said.
The stock market sub-index led the decreases among the six gauges this month, falling by 5 points to 78.4 this month from last month, followed by the sub-index of job opportunities, which dropped 2.25 points to 107.5, the center said in a report.
The economic outlook sub-index fell 2.05 points month-on-month to 73.7 this month, while the sub-indices for durable goods and household finances were down by 1.3 points and 0.95 points to 105.95 and 74.55 respectively, the report said.
The pace of the fall in the consumer prices sub-index was the lowest among all six categories, declining 0.25 points to 45.65 this month from last month, the report said.