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Taiwan's consumer confidence falls to 32-month low: survey

Taiwan's consumer confidence falls to 32-month low: survey

Taipei, Oct. 29 (CNA) The October Consumer Confidence Index fell 1.62 points from the previous month to 72.73 points, the lowest monthly level since February 2010, according to a survey released Monday by the Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development at National Central University (NCU). The October index indicates a "medium sense of pessimism" but falls in a "mid-to-high" level compared with the levels recorded during the global financial storm that began in 2008, said Dachrahn Wu, head of the research center.
According to Wu, among the six sub-indexes for the degree of consumer confidence, only the indicator showing consumers' expectations toward employment opportunities in the next six months recorded an increase from September's 108.05 to 108.8 in October. Those concerning investment in stocks, price levels, family economic conditions and overall domestic business conditions in the next half-year all posed month-on-month drops in October, while the indicator reflecting consumers' confidence in purchasing durable products such as housing and cars remained unchanged, Wu said. The indicator of investment in stocks registered the largest drop of 5.6 points to 46.9 points in October, the survey shows. Government proposals, including a plan to impose tax on capital gains generated from stock and futures transactions and to include cash gains from stock transactions in the calculation of national health insurance premiums, have battered people's willingness to invest in the stock market, said Tai Chao-yang, a division chief at the Taiwan Research Institute. San Gee, a professor at NCU's Graduate Institute of Industrial Economics, said Taiwan's economy relies heavily on exports. However, domestic demand is a major pillar that stabilizes the country's employment market, he said.
The service, travel and hotel sectors have supported employment and economic development over the past year, when exports have been in recession due to the global slowdown, he said. Meanwhile, Chu Yun-peng, a professor at the university's Department of Economics, said that although October's consumer confidence was the lowest since early 2010, it was still stronger than 2008, at the onset of the global financial tsunami. In the coming months, the Consumer Confidence Index is expected to stay in the 70-point category if the global economy maintains stable, he predicted. The survey was conducted Oct. 19-22 via telephone interviews among 2,434 randomly selected people aged over 20. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. (By Lin Hui-chun and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-04-21 03:13 GMT+08:00