Wed, Jun 21, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Public slightly pessimistic about economy: survey

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese turned slightly pessimistic about the domestic economy and lost some appetite for durable goods or stock investment this month, a survey by Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) showed yesterday.

The online poll of 12,317 Cathay Financial customers from June 1 to June 7 showed that 42.6 percent expect the economy to deteriorate in the coming six months, compared with 24.4 percent who hold a positive view.

Achilles Chen (陳欽奇), an assistant manager at Cathay Financial’s economic research department, attributed the soft sentiment to signs of slowdown in major economic barometers.

The government’s business indicator turned “yellow-blue” last month, indicating that the nation’s export-focused economy is slowing after flashing “green” — representing steady growth — for nine consecutive months.

Weaker-than-expected exports and capital equipment purchases suggest that the growth momentum is losing steam as global technology brands are adjusting inventory ahead of new product launches in the fall, the National Development Council said.

The New Taiwan dollar’s sharp appreciation against the US dollar this year also eroded the profitability of exporters in the first quarter, although the trend helped absorb pressures linked to raw material price hikes, the council said.

With the TAIEX standing firm above the 10,000-point mark, respondents have become wary of the capital market, the survey found.

Nearly 39 percent said the weighted index could weaken in the next six months, compared with 22 percent who expect the rally to continue, the survey showed.

Consequently, 26.1 percent of respondents intend to trim their shareholdings, 17.1 percent plan to raise their positions and 56.8 percent favor the “status quo,” the survey showed.

Similarly, 37.4 percent of respondents plan to cut spending on durable goods in the coming six months, while 15.7 percent favor increasing purchases, the poll showed.

Expectations of consumer price hikes lent support to the cautious attitude on spending.

Slightly more than 75 percent of respondents expect consumer prices to rise in the following six months, with the increases ranging between 3 percent and 6 percent, the survey showed.

An overwhelming number, 73.7 percent, believe it is not wise to buy real estate now and 61.2 percent think it is better not to sell, the survey showed.

The findings suggest sluggish property transactions ahead with more sellers than buyers in the market.

This story has been viewed 1587 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top