Consumer confidence saw a modest improvement this month, ending four straight months of decline, as the COVID-19 outbreak stabilized at home, but continued to spike abroad, a survey by National Central University (NCU) showed yesterday.
The consumer confidence index came in at 68.77, an increase of 3.9 points from last month, with all six constituent gauges posting increases, the survey found after interviewing 2,855 adults by telephone from June 18 to 20.
“Confidence remains weak, despite the improvement, as the global economy remains dogged by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dachrahn Wu (吳大任), director of the university’s Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development, which conducts the survey.
Sentiment values of more than 100 suggest optimism and scores lower than the threshold indicate pessimism.
The sub-index on stock investment increased 4.7 points to 41.6, indicating that most people believe it is not wise to join the market in light of tumultuous volatility even though the TAIEX rallied above the 11,000-point mark, NCU economics professor Yau Ruey (姚睿) said.
The job market outlook measure gained 4.05 points to 75.55 after restaurants, hotels and retailers reported better sales, starting last month, Wu said.
Last month likely represents the trough of the slowdown in Taiwan as locals packed popular tourist attractions during the Dragon Boat Festival, Wu said.
People might spend more next month and through the rest of the year as the government is to distribute stimulus vouchers from July 15 to help shore up domestic demand, which could ease pressure on tourism businesses to furlough employees, Wu said.
The sub-index on household income rose 3.7 points to 81.75, while the reading on durable goods purchases climbed 3.45 points to 91.9, the survey said.
The economic outlook measure gained 3.85 points to 82.9, as government officials have said that the economy would start to come out of the woods from next quarter.
Wu said that exports, which account for 70 percent of overall GDP, might continue to disappoint if the US and Europe fail to control the virus outbreak, thus limiting demand for technology products in the coming holiday season.
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