Sat, Feb 03, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Holiday budget to average NT$31,000

SPREADING THE CHEER:About 40% of the money will go into ‘hongbao,’ while the service sector should benefit as people opt to spend it in Taiwan

By Lee Ya-wen and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Customers stock up on candy at the Dihua Street Market in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

With the economy picking up, Taiwanese plan to spend an average of NT$31,000 during the six-day Lunar New Year holiday, with a majority opting to stay in the country, which should be a boon for the service industry, a survey by online job bank yes123 showed.

Salary increases for military personnel, public-school teachers and civil servants, and higher employee annual bonuses this year should spur domestic demand, yes123 spokesperson Yang Tsung-pin (楊宗斌) said on Thursday, adding that these should benefit the retail, hotel, entertainment and other service industries.

With a shorter holiday break this year — six days — most people are planning to spend it in the country, Yang said.

More than 90 percent of respondents plan to hand out hongbao (紅包, red envelopes containing money) to their elders or younger people, with an average budget of NT$12,377, or about 40 percent of the NT$31,000 that people are planning to spend during the holiday, the poll showed.

Fifty-six percent said they plan to give the same amount they handed out last year, while 25 percent said they might increase the amount this year.

Living expenses was one of the reasons cited by those who plan to decrease the amount they hand out, Yang said.

Others include not receiving a raise or lower bonuses, he said.

The poll also showed that the top five questions most people dread being asked during Lunar New Year gatherings are: When are you getting married; How much are you making and is it enough; Where are you working, or What is your job; How many months are you getting for this year’s annual bonus; and Are you currently seeing someone?

The online survey of people who are employed but looking for other jobs was conducted from Jan. 11 to Jan. 23. It received 1,413 valid responses.

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