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September 1, 2016

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Consumers glum as jobs concern arises

CHINESE consumer sentiment fell to the lowest in six months in August amid widespread deterioration in personal finances, business conditions and the job market, with employment resurfacing as a major concern, according to a latest survey.

The Westpac MNI China Consumer Sentiment Indicator fell 2.2 percent to 111.5 points in August from 114.0 in July, as sentiment dived to the lowest since February, Market News International said yesterday.

While the index stayed above the breakeven 100 points, signalling that optimists outnumbered pessimists, confidence was still below the 12-month average of 114.4.

Employment has resurfaced as a major concern as more respondents saw their job prospects dimming in the next 12 months.

“August’s decline in consumer sentiment is consistent with the recent moderation in official activity data, and any loss of momentum is a concern and a threat to the bumpy recovery of the economy,” Andy Wu, senior economist at MNI Indicators.

Westpac Senior Economist Matthew Hassan said Chinese consumers “are less convinced business conditions are improving and fear another hit to their finances.”


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