Tue, Oct 29, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Consumer confidence up 0.11 points this month

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Consumer confidence this month increased by a fractional 0.11 points to reach 80.97, upheld by a concrete increase in durable goods purchases, while the local property market is poised to benefit from capital repatriation, a National Central University survey showed yesterday.

Absolute confidence scores of larger than 100 suggest optimism and values below that indicate pessimism, according to the survey.

The sub-index on purchases of durable goods — mainly property — gained 3.15 points to 105.4, its highest in 51 months, confirming that last month’s rise was not isolated, said Dachrahn Wu (吳大任), an economics professor at the university.

The durable goods gauge is usually stable and less prone to volatility, the academic said, adding that people also tend to avoid making big-ticket purchases ahead of national elections.

The presidential and legislative elections are scheduled for Jan. 11.

The increase in interest in property therefore has more to do with external factors, such as capital repatriation and funds being taken out of Hong Kong due to the social unrest there, Wu said.

Some of that money is likely to flow to Taiwan to be invested in local properties, he said.

The sub-index on stock investment lost 3.5 points to 61.6 this month, as the shadow of corrections is looming larger after the TAIEX rallied to reach a 29-year high last week, Wu said.

“Most investors believe it is better to sell rather than buy” in the next six months, the economist said.

Other indices were mixed.

The reading on household incomes rose 0.65 points to a record 91.15, as people are relatively upbeat about the economy, despite languishing exports, Wu said.

The economic outlook sub-index gained 0.95 points to 87.3, while inflation expectations gained 1.5 points to 52.75, the survey found.

The job market outlook dropped 2.1 points to 87.6, declining for four months in a row, Wu said.

The job market should have recovered from the effect of graduation season, he added.

The survey has a margin of error of 2 percentage points. It was conducted from Oct. 19 to Wednesday last week, with 2,832 adults being interviewed by telephone.

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