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October 10, 2015

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Households glum but more keen on realty

CHINESE households’ pessimism over the country’s economy, family investment and expenditure worsened to a five-year low in September, but more people planned to invest in housing, a survey showed yesterday.

The China Wealth Index, compiled by the Bank of Communications and research firm Nielsen every two months, fell to 111 last month from 120 in July to hit the worst in the survey’s five-year history.

A reading above 100 still reflects optimism among the 1,844 households being tracked.

Lian Ping, chief economist at BoCom, said the data indicated consumers were still affected by the stock market rout in July that they turned to the property market.

The component indices showed Chinese households’ willingness to buy properties rose 1 point to 101 in September while the intention to buy shares lost 11 points to 112.

About 47 percent of the respondents said they planned to buy properties in the near future, a sharp jump from only 8 percent who were planning to invest in housing now.

“China has been easing the curbs on the property sector since March to help a faltering economy,” Lian said. “We have seen signs of rebound in the sector.”

Households were also glum over job prospects, Lian said, as the employment index fell below the demarcation line to 98 for the first time.

Consumer confidence in the broad economy fell 10 points to 103 last month.

Also the stock market correction caused the index measuring household income to fall to 120, dropping further from 132 in July and 153 in May.

China’s economy grew 7 percent in the first six months of the year.


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