Consumer confidence weakens for 4th consecutive month
Taiwan’s consumer confidence weakened for the fourth consecutive month in August amid concerns over an economic slowdown at home and abroad, a survey by National Central University showed Thursday.
The survey results echoed a move by the government to downgrade its forecast for Taiwan’s 2015 economic growth to 1.56 percent from an earlier estimate of 3.28 percent at a time when global investors fear slowing demand, in particular from mainland China, the second largest economy in the world.
The survey indicated that Taiwan’s consumer confidence index (CCI) for August fell 3.43 points from a month earlier to 86.15, marking a fall for four months in a row, according to the university’s Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development.
All six sub-factors in the CCI which reflect how consumers feel about aspects of Taiwan’s economy over the following six months trended lower in August, according to the research center.
The sub-index for the timing of equity market investment suffered the steepest decline in August, down 11.30 points to 73.20. Based on the research center’s standards, whenever a sub-index falls more than 2 points, the decline in the sub-index for the timing of equity market investment is described as “significant.”
The significant fall in this particular sub-index resulted from heavy losses in the local equity markets and turmoil in global markets, especially Wall Street and China. Since the beginning of this year, the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange had fallen about 17 percent as of Wednesday.
The survey showed that the sub-index for the local business climate fell 4.15 points from a month earlier to 77.20, also a significant drop by the research center’s standards, after Taiwan reported a year on-year fall in exports for the sixth consecutive month in July. In the seven months of this year, Taiwan’s outbound sales dropped 7.8 percent from a year earlier.