Public confidence in Taiwan’s economy and equity investments improved this month from last month, aided by an improved COVID-19 situation in Taiwan and relaxation of pandemic lockdown conditions overseas, Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) said on Thursday, citing a survey it conducted.
The survey showed that 35.7 percent of 16,912 Cathay Financial customers surveyed expect the economy to pick up in the next six months, up from 17.4 percent last month.
As the pandemic has not been fully contained, 46.3 percent of respondents said that they expect the economy to deteriorate over the next six months, down from 68.7 percent a month earlier, the survey showed.
The online survey showed that 72.4 percent of respondents expect economic growth to remain above 1 percent this year.
The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) last month trimmed Taiwan’s GDP forecast for this year to between 1.3 percent and 1.8 percent, compared with its February estimate of 2.37 percent.
People have become more upbeat about the local equities market, with 35.6 percent expecting the TAIEX to rally over the next six months, up from 23.3 percent a month earlier, while 36.6 percent expect the index to fall, down from last month’s 58.3 percent, the poll showed.
The upbeat sentiment led to investors’ preferring higher investment risk, with 25.1 percent interested in buying more stocks instead of holding cash, up from 24.3 percent a month earlier, it showed.
Market sentiment toward local equities might have been boosted by foreign governments easing lockdowns, which is expected to lead to rebounds in equities markets, Cathay Financial said, adding that the local equities market is sensitive to its foreign peers.
The survey showed that 81.8 percent believe the local job market has worsened, with 55.6 percent expecting the situation to remain bleak in the next six months, compared with 79.4 percent and 67 percent respectively a month earlier.
Thirty percent expect salaries to fall, compared with 36.2 percent a month earlier, while 20.8 percent expressed interest in making big purchases, up from 13.1 percent the previous month, the poll showed.
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