Public confidence about the economy and consumption is waning this month as concerns over “Brexit” fallouts overshadow emerging signs of a domestic recovery, a survey by Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) showed yesterday.
Of survey respondents, 44.3 percent expect the economy to deteriorate in the coming six months, while 21.7 percent are looking at an improvement, the monthly survey showed. The remaining 6.3 percent said they have not formed an opinion.
The finding came two weeks after Britons voted in a referendum to leave the EU, raising uncertainty over the global economy and drowning out positive movements for domestic economic barometers such as industrial production and the purchasing managers’ index.
“The sentiment change is not surprising because Taiwan is susceptible to external shocks given its small and open economy,” Cathay Financial economic research department assistant manager Achilles Chen (陳欽奇) said.
The Brexit process will have a very limited impact on corporate income due to minimal trade links between Taiwan and the UK, but might upset financial markets across the world until the dust settles, Chen said.
Growing risk aversion explains why 29 percent of respondents said they plan to trim equity positions and hold onto cash, according to the survey, which polled 17,645 Cathay customers by e-mail between July 1 and July 7.
A majority of respondents, 52.5 percent, intend to maintain the “status quo,” while 18.5 percent would seek to increase holdings, the survey showed.
Individual investors have stayed on the sidelines even though the TAIEX has climbed above the 9,000-point mark supported by foreign fund inflows. However, the rally has increased expectations of a downturn as 44.6 percent of respondents expect a correction in the next six months, double the number of respondents with rosy views, the survey said.
Of those polled, 37.5 percent aim to cut consumption of durable goods and 27.1 percent would tighten purchases of big-ticket items, while more than 40 percent would stand by their original plans, the survey showed.
The softening confidence might paradoxically benefit real-estate transactions, as many respondents said they believe now is a good time to sell houses and would consider lowering prices to facilitate deals, Chen said.
About 26 percent voiced plans to sell, higher than the number of respondents who believe it is wise to buy at 16.3 percent, the survey said.
“The lack of balance suggests a need for price concessions if sellers are serious about exiting the market,” Chen said.
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
MRT TRAVEL FALLS: In February, ridership on the Taipei MRT System fell 8.96 percent from an average of 2.01 million per day in January Scooter sales jumped 13 percent last month as more commuters turned to two-wheelers to avoid public transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest statistics showed. Sales expanded to 74,493 units last month, compared with 65,913 units in February, statistics released on Wednesday by Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed. In the first quarter, aggregate sales slid 0.51 percent year-over-year to 186,627 units, from 187,580 units, data showed. Kwang Yang, the nation’s biggest scooter manufacturer, continued to lead the market by selling 24,136 vehicles last month, growing 6.12 percent from 20,785 units in the previous month, while
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the nation’s leading PC vendor, yesterday launched its first dual-screen gaming laptop powered by Intel Corp’s latest central processing units (CPUs). The PC manufacturer’s announcement closely followed the US chipmaker’s unveiling of its 10th Generation Core H-series, the fastest commercial mobile processors with speeds of up to 5 gigahertz. Although Asustek’s Zephyrus Duo 15, the highlight of its Republic of Gamers line, is not the company’s first laptop with two screens, it is its first designed specifically for gaming. Nestled between the primary display panel and the keyboard, the secondary display, which Asustek calls the ScreenPad Plus, is angled
NO ILL EFFECT: Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the spread of COVID-19 was still relatively mild in Taiwan, housing brokers said Housing transactions in the six special municipalities totaled 19,824 units last month, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, brokers said, citing government data. Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet evident, they said. Taoyuan posted the largest improvement, with housing transactions soaring 36.6 percent year-on-year to 3,676 units, local government data showed. Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) attributed the pickup to the completion of two presale residential projects in the municipality. Houses in Taoyuan have increasingly gained in popularity in the past few year years due to relatively affordable home prices and