Consumers' view of economy gets darker from July to August: survey
The China Post news staffTaiwan consumers are more pessimistic about the economy in August than they were in July, according to Cathay Financial Holding's latest consumer confidence report released yesterday.
August 16, 2012, 12:16 am TWN
The poll showed consumer confidence for the future stood at minus 33.1, down from the minus 21.8 level in July. As for consumers' confidence for the present, the number went down from July's minus 40.2 to minus 53.1 in August.
The sentiment reflects that indicated by the Council for Economic Planning and Development's economic signal, which for eight months in a row has flashed a blue signal indicating economic contraction.
Meanwhile, rising consumer prices have also given investors cause for concern. Consumer prices grew 2.46 percent in July on a year-on-year basis and reached a new high since October 2008. With erratic climatic patterns of late, consumers are even more worried about inflation, Cathay said.
In the poll, consumers' price expectation index rose from 64.2 for July to 72.7 for August. The price expectation index for the next six months meanwhile rose from 3.6 percent to four percent. Based on these figures, the central bank is unlikely to cut interest rates in its September board meeting as expected by the market, Cathay said.
In terms of stock investment, consumers still take a conservative approach, on fears that the European debt crisis will continue and that the European Central Bank will not launch quantitative easing measures as many have hoped. Also, 46.5 percent of consumers have no plans to purchase homes over the next year.