Tue, Jul 29, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Survey shows increase in consumer confidence as economy picks up steam

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

The consumer confidence index rose to a record high this month on the back of a continued economic recovery and expectations of lower property prices, a survey conducted by National Central University showed yesterday.

The index rose 0.59 points sequentially to 88.17 this month, increasing for the fourth straight month and hitting its highest since the university’s Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development began the survey in 2001.

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

The survey, which polled 2,432 people over the age of 20, from July 19 to Monday last week, showed improvements in consumer sentiment in four of the six categories.

The figures rose the most in the economic outlook category.

“The results showed that the public is already feeling the upturn in the nation’s economy,” center director Dachrahn Wu (吳大任) told a press conference.

The economic outlook subindex increased by 3.45 points to 85.25 this month, the highest level since November 2011, while the durable goods subindex climbed 0.7 points to 109.3 this month, reaching its highest level since November 2007.

National Central University economics professor Chu Yun-peng (朱雲鵬) attributed the increase in the durable goods subindex to the government’s persistent efforts to curb speculative property transactions, saying that tempering property prices gave the public more confidence.

The job opportunities subindex increased 0.4 points to 113 this month, reflecting public confidence in the domestic job market. Last month, the jobless rate rose to 3.92 percent from 3.85 percent in May.

The stock market subindex dropped 1.3 points from last month to 95.9 this month, an indication that the recent stock market rally has made consumers wary of increasing their investments, the survey showed.

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