Consumer confidence boosted by booming equity market: survey

Taipei-Taiwan's consumer confidence received a boost from the booming equity market which pushed up the consumer confidence index (CCI) for November, according to a survey released by National Central University (NCU) on Monday.

Citing the survey, NCU said the November CCI rose 2.82 points from a month earlier to 86.16, the highest level since July 2015, when the index stood at 89.58.

Dachrahn Wu (???), director of NCU's Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development, told the press that consumer confidence improved significantly in November largely because the local stock market made a strong showing, with the weighted index remaining above the 10,000 point mark in recent months.

In mid-May, the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed above the 10,000 point level for the first time in 17 years and share prices have remained above that level for more than 100 consecutive trading sessions, even hitting a 27-year high.

On Monday, although the weighted index closed down 0.95 percent it still finished at 10,750.93.

Wu said higher equity prices helped boost household income and Taiwan's exports continue to move higher on solid global demand, which are important drivers of consumer confidence.

In addition, a decision by the government to raise wages for civil servants, teachers and military personnel by 3 percent from January and its plan to relax the current rigid weekly work hour rules have boosted domestic demand and consumer confidence further, Wu said.

The CCI comprises six sub-indexes that reflect the confidence people have in consumer prices, employment, family finances, local economic climate, stock market and the possible purchase of durable goods over the next six months.

In November, the sub-index for the stock market rose to 105.20, up 6.70 from a month earlier, the largest increase among the six factors, while the sub-index for consumer prices rose 2.75 to 52.30, and the sub-index for family finances gained 2.10 to 84.70, the survey showed.

The sub-index for the local economic climate for November also rose 2.05 points from a month earlier to 79.50, while the sub-index for the purchase of durable goods added 1.80 to 89.95 and the sub-index for employment gained 1.50 to 105.30.

According to NCU, a sub-index score of between 0 and 100 indicates pessimism, while a score of between 100 and 200 indicates optimism.

In other words, the results show that both the stock market and employment sub-indexes indicate optimism over the next six months, the university said.

The survey, conducted from Nov. 19-22, collected 2,544 valid questionnaires from local consumers aged 20 and over. It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.0 percentage points.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel