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Slightly more upbeat but keen on stocks too

CHINESE households are slightly more confident in their prospective income but as it's a weak recovery they are also showing a lot of interest in stock investments, according to a central bank survey yesterday.

The index of urban citizen's confidence in prospective income rose 4.5 percentage points from a quarter ago to 17.7 percent for this quarter, said the People's Bank of China yesterday on its Website, citing a nationwide survey of 20,000 households in 50 cities made in the second half of February.

On a year-on-year comparison, the confidence index is 5 percentage points down as 19 percent of respondents said they expect an income cut or are uncertain about the future, indicating a strong sentiment of uncertainty.

The survey also showed that consumers are showing rising interest in share trading as the domestic stock market is clawing back its losses this year. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index has risen 17 percent so far this year, from a drop of almost 70 percent in 2008.

About 32.9 percent of the respondents said they prefer investments in bonds, stocks and insurance. About 13.8 percent of them said they prefer stock investments, up 5.1 percentage points from a quarter ago. It was also the second straight quarter rise.


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