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January 8, 2019

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Consumers get more confident, investors wary

Shanghai’s consumer confidence rallied but investor confidence remained flat in the fourth quarter of 2018, the latest Shanghai University of Finance and Economics survey shows.

But both remained in positive territory.

The university’s quarterly Consumer Confidence in Shanghai index, released yesterday, rebounded 1.9 points from the third quarter to 119.7 points.

But that was down 4.2 points from a year earlier.

A reading above 100 indicates optimism.

The growing uncertainties in international politics and the global economy led to a slight fall in consumer confidence for full-year 2018 compared with 2017.

However, Shanghai’s economic indicators posted steady growth in general, employment remained basically stable and real estate market expectations have shown positive changes.

These factors enabled consumer confidence to remain optimistic even when the economy is facing challenges, said Xu Guoxiang, director of the university’s Applied Statistics Research Center, and deputy directors Cui Chang and Wu Chunjie.

Also, the quality of economic growth in the city has improved, the new service industry has developed rapidly and industrial production has promoted both quality and efficiency, all of which have played a positive role in stabilizing consumer confidence, leading to the rebound in the fourth quarter, Xu said.

The sub-index of purchase intentions dropped 1.1 points from the previous quarter and 4.7 points from the same period in 2017 to hit a near four-year low at 79.3 points.

The component index measuring intentions to buy homes jumped sharply to 61.1 points, 8.9 points higher than the third quarter and posting a year-on-year rise of two points.

The index of consumer intention to buy cars, however, lost 8.5 points from the third quarter and was down 15.1 points from the same period a year earlier.

The Index of Investor Confidence remained generally unchanged from the third quarter at 101.23 points but was down sharply by 12.19 points on a year-on-year basis, hitting a near two-year low.

But the index still stayed in positive territory.

This indicates that investors still have a stable and positive view of the investment environment in Shanghai.


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