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January 7, 2020

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Consumer trust remains positive

Shanghai’s consumer and investor confidence retreated slightly in the fourth quarter of 2019, but still remained in positive territory, according to a survey released yesterday.

The Shanghai University of Finance and Economics’ quarterly Consumer Confidence in Shanghai Index dipped 2.5 points from the third quarter to 120 points for the October-December period.

On a year-on-year basis, the survey found that the index remained generally flat, edging up by only 0.3 points.

The university’s Index of Investor Confidence, meanwhile, fell to 110.91 points, 5.27 points lower than the third quarter, but jumped by 9.68 points compared with the same period in 2018.

For both indexes, a reading above 100 shows optimism, below indicates pessimism.

The weakened consumer confidence in Shanghai was partly due to a sharp rise in the previous quarter, said Xu Guoxiang, director of the university’s Applied Statistics Research Center.

Despite the increasing external uncertainties, the domestic economy maintained a stable growth rate above 6 percent. Shanghai has also made further achievements in structural adjustment, Xu added.

Xu also highlighted a higher sub-index for purchase intentions at 90 points, an advance of 4.3 points quarter on quarter and up 10.7 points compared with a year earlier, reaching its highest level in over three years.

As a major component in purchase intentions, an index measuring home-buying intentions jumped 2.3 points from the third quarter to 69.5 points, and posted a sharp year-on-year rise of 8.4 points, showing that consumers generally think the current situation in the city’s real-estate market is acceptable, Xu said.

Intention to buy a car climbed to 92.1 points from 86.9 points in the previous quarter and up by 15.5 points from a year earlier, hitting a three-year high.

Durable goods added 5.5 points from October-September to 108.5 points, a year-on-year rise of 8.4 points, indicating recovery in local demand.

A sub-index of purchase expectations also picked up strongly by 7.1 points from the previous quarter to 85.1 points and was up 13.1 points from the same period in 2018.

The investor index, although dipping slightly quarter on quarter, remained stable at a high level, indicating a relatively positive attitude toward Shanghai’s investment environment.

Supportive policies such as preferential tax breaks for small and micro-enterprises and reform of value-added taxes have reduced burdens of companies as well as boosted the vitality and further development of real economy, leading to stronger investor confidence from a year earlier, Xu said.


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