The consumer confidence index plummeted to 91.4 this month, down 8.5 percentage points from last month, undermined by decreasing confidence in all component measures, primarily in economic performance over the coming five years, a survey by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) and Roy Morgan Research showed.
The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan Taiwan Consumer Confidence reading is unfavorable for GDP growth, as domestic demand is relied on to prop up the economy as external demand falters.
“As we pointed out last month, consumer sentiment will be badly affected by global equity sell-off and the volatility of foreign currencies, notably the Chinese yuan,” ANZ Hong Kong-based economist Raymond Yeung (楊宇霆) said.
Now only 22.2 percent of respondents expect Taiwan to flourish economically in the next five years, down 11.3 percentage points from one month earlier, while numbers of respondents with a pessimistic outlook gained 5.7 percentage points to 19.5 percent, the survey found.
The grim outlook falls in line with poor export and industrial production data that are clouding growth prospects in the near term.
In terms of personal finances, 6.8 percent of respondents said their families are better off financially compared with last year, while 29.5 percent said their families are worse off, the survey found.
About 11.6 percent of respondents think their families would be better off financially this time next year, while 19.7 percent think their families would be worse off, according to the survey.
Weakening confidence encourages belt-tightening, with 25.5 percent of respondents saying it is unwise to buy major household items now, up 3.5 percentage points from last month.
Only 6.7 percent think it is a good time for big purchases, the lowest level since August last year, the survey found.
The central bank would maintain an accommodative monetary environment through open market operations, Yeung said.
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