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October 13, 2021

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Consumers’ confidence falters, but still positive

Shanghai’s consumer confidence weakened in the third quarter but remained positive, according to a survey released yesterday.

The Shanghai University of Finance and Economics’ quarterly Consumer Confidence in Shanghai Index fell 1.9 points from the second quarter to 119.9 points for July-September period.

But that was still 6 points higher than a year earlier.

The university’s Index of Investor Confidence was 120.64 points, down 4.9 points from the previous quarter and 4.73 points lower than the same period last year.

For both indexes, a reading above 100 signifies optimism while lower than 100 indicates pessimism.

The weaker consumer confidence can be partly attributed to the challenges faced by the domestic economy such as transformation of growth, said Xu Guoxiang, director of the university’s Applied Statistics Research Center.

A relatively large fall in the city’s real estate market, along with the complex international economic situation and cooling external demand also led to the abating consumer confidence.

But the stable domestic economy and the control of COVID-19 guaranteed orderly economic development and maintained the generally positive consumer confidence, Xu added.

The survey underscored the sub-index for consumers’ evaluation of Shanghai’s economy, which soared 5.5 points from the second quarter to a record 154.1 points, a surge of 11.8 points from a year earlier.

The company’s evaluation of earnings for July-September also rose 2.7 points quarter on quarter and jumped 12.4 points year on year, to its highest since the outbreak of COVID-19.

A sub-index of purchase intentions, however, tumbled 7.9 points from the previous quarter to 85 points, with the index of home-buying intentions plunging from the second quarter to 52.6 points, the sharpest fall since the launch of the survey.

The global economic situation, coupled with government policies led to the cooling in the real estate market in Shanghai and a sharp decline in consumer demand.

The intention to buy durables was up 9.7 points from April-June and 4.8 points higher than a year earlier, signaling gradually stronger domestic demand.


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