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January 24, 2017

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Shanghai consumers lose nerve in Q4

SHANGHAI consumers lost confidence in the fourth quarter amid global political worries and a yuan depreciation, a survey showed yesterday.

The Index of Consumer Confidence in Shanghai, a quarterly gauge compiled by Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, fell 4.3 points from the third quarter to 111.9 in the October-December quarter.

A reading above 100 points indicates optimism.

Global political changes, delayed impact of an economic recovery, continued yuan depreciation and a weak stock market combined to hurt consumer confidence, said Xu Guoxiang, director of the university’s Applied Statistics Research Center.

“Changeable international political and economic conditions in the last quarter aroused a sense of crisis among consumers, hurting consumer confidence to some extent,” Xu said.

“The city’s economic indicators actually picked up, but it takes time to have an impact on the economy and consumers.”

The component indexes showed people’s intention to buy homes and cars rose by 9.5 points and 4.8 points respectively from the previous quarter, while their intention to buy durable goods fell 12.4 points. The city’s retail sales rose 8 percent to 1.09 trillion yuan (US$159 billion) last year, with online sales surging 15.8 percent to 125 billion yuan, Shanghai Statistics Bureau said last Friday.

Another index measuring the city’s consumer satisfaction dipped to 71.83 points in 2016 from the record high of 72.03 points in 2015.

The city’s GDP rose 6.8 percent last year, faster than the annual growth of China’s GDP for the first time since 2008.


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