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Hong Kong’s overall consumer confidence fell to the lowest level in three years in the second quarter, reversing an upward trend in the previous two quarters amid economic uncertainty, according to a survey conducted by the City University of Hong Kong and four other universities.
According to the survey’s consumer confidence index, measured by a number of sub-indices, the city registered the lowest confidence towards the housing market compared with the mainland, Taiwan and Macao.
The consumer confidence index, scaled between 0 and 200, for the second quarter of 2012 released on Wednesday shows that the overall consumer confidence was 77.5 for the past three months in Hong Kong, a decline of 4 percent compared with the previous quarter, reversing an upward trend seen in the fourth quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of this year, which then stood at 79.3 and 80.7, respectively.
Scores below 100 suggest people lack confidence while those above the benchmark reflect optimism. The university surveyed 1,017 adults living in the city and the score of 77.5 in the past quarter was the lowest ever recorded since the index was launched in early 2009.
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Geoffrey Tso, associate professor from the department of Management Sciences of CityU, said the index dropped notably in the city as the global economic uncertainties continually unfolded, eroding people’s confidence.
The “housing sales” sub-index which measures residents’ ability in purchasing properties in Hong Kong, has fallen to another record low of 49.2 in the second quarter compared with the 56.9 and 63.9 readings for the previous two quarters, which strongly dragged the index’s overall scores this time, Tso told China Daily in a telephone interview.
Most sub-indices fell from the first quarter this time, with “employment” and “consumer prices” dropping to 96.5 and 56.6 from 98.9 and 57.1 in the first three months respectively.
The “stock investment” sub-index also decreased to 74.1 during the period from the previous 80.4 while the “economic development” sub-index slid to 86.0 from 89.8 in the same survey.
The readings signify that Hong Kong people lacked confidence in consumer prices and housing sales, have a low confidence in economic development and stock investment, but they were neutral towards employment.
The score of 77.5 on the consumer confidence index in Hong Kong this time was higher than the 73.7 figure in Taiwan. The latter was down 1.3 points from the 75 figure registered in the first quarter of this year.