Public confidence picks up alongside economy: survey

MIXED RESULTS::While public confidence picked up last month, people are still worried about the job market, with 30 percent believing it will deteriorate

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Mar 19, 2013 - Page 13

Although general sentiment remained weak, public confidence picked up further this month as the domestic and international economy stayed on course for a mild recovery, a survey by Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) showed yesterday.

Forty-six percent of respondents expected the domestic economic landscape to brighten in the coming six months, while 20 percent held the opposite view, the monthly poll found.

Nearly 29 percent took a neutral stance, while the remaining 5 percent said they had no opinion, according to the survey that polled 15,306 people online between March 1 and March 7.

Cathay Financial linked the improving sentiment to encouraging economic bellwethers after the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to a new high and the TAIEX rallied above the critical 8,000-point mark last month.

However, only 35 percent said the TAIEX is likely to climb higher and 53 percent indicated no interest in increasing securities investments, the survey said.

The economic recovery has not significantly boosted public confidence about the job market, because 30 percent of respondents believed the market will deteriorate in the next six months, outnumbering their optimistic counterparts at 22 percent, the survey showed.

About 39 percent said the job market will remain unchanged.

A large majority, 65 percent, expect salaries to flatten in the next six months, compared with 20 percent who expect a decrease and 15 percent who expect an increase, the survey found.

Stagnant wages warrant caution about spending, as 45 percent have no plans to purchase durable goods in the coming six months, while 47 percent voiced similar views about big-item consumption, the survey showed.

About 85 percent said they do not have any yuan holdings and 54 percent said they do not plan to accumulate yuan holdings in the coming 12 months. About 26 percent intend to shift 5 percent of their deposits to the Chinese currency, the survey showed.