Taiwan consumer confidence still sinking

October 28, 2015 7:22 am 

TAIPEI, Oct. 28 — Taiwanese became gloomier about inflation, income, investment and employment prospects in October for a sixth consecutive month, according to the results of a monthly survey publicized on Tuesday.

The consumer confidence index based on a survey by National Central University's Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development dropped by 0.72 points from September to 84.6 points.

The index has continued to fall since May due to febrile growth in the local economy. The island's GDP increased year on year by 0.64 percent in the second quarter of 2015, far below the official projection of 3.05 percent.

The index consists of six indicators reflecting what people think about the economy over the next six months, in terms of consumer prices, stock market investment, employment, family income, local economic climate and purchases of durable goods.

All six indicators dropped this month, with the steepest decline in consumer prices and the smallest in the local economic climate.

According to the research design, an indicator between 0 and 100 indicates pessimism while scores between 100 and 200 indicates optimism.

The indicators for employment prospects and ability to buy durable goods were 112.6 and 102.05, respectively, but the remainders were all below 100.

The survey was conducted between Oct. 19 and 23 with 2,454 valid questionnaires.

The official assessment of the economic situation, also released on Tuesday, echoed the university index. According to a report from Taiwan's development council, the economy has entered "a phase characterized by significant downside risks and fragility."

The council's monthly evaluation of the economic situation in September remained "sluggish" for a fourth consecutive month, based on indicators including monetary aggregates, stock price, industrial production, non-agricultural employment, custom-cleared exports, imports of machinery and electronic equipment, manufacturing sales and trade.

The economic growth rate for the third quarter this year is not yet available but analysts have suggested it may be under 1 percent.

Duh Tyzz-jiun, head of the council, said on Monday that the authorities are working on short-term stimulation to boost local demand, and that exports are likely to increase in the fourth quarter. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/EBP

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