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July 12, 2017

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Consumer confidence sags

SHANGHAI consumer confidence edged down in the second quarter amid a weaker real estate market, a survey showed yesterday.

The Index of Consumer Confidence in Shanghai, a quarterly gauge compiled by the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, dipped 1.5 points from the first quarter to 117.6 in the April-June period.

A reading above 100 points indicates optimism.

The decline marked a correction from a fast increase in the last quarter weighed by weakness in real estate sales and the stock market, but overall sentiment remained strong as the economy has shown solid signs of stabilization, said Xu Guoxiang, director of the university’s Applied Statistics Research Center.

He said Shanghai should promote advanced manufacturing industries, encourage development of the private sector and stabilize household incomes to boost consumer confidence.

“The survey showed declining willingness to spend money among young and middle age consumers worried about salary growth and high home prices,” Xu said. “It is essential to stabilize employment and salaries to enhance consumer momentum against the backdrop of steady economic growth.”

The component indexes showed people’s intentions to buy homes dropped 4.4 points from the previous quarter to 56.6 and intentions to buy cars fell 2.1 points to 89.7.

Official data showed sales of consumer goods rose 8.2 percent year on year in the first five months to 468.24 billion yuan, from 8 percent for the same period last year.


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