POSITIVE OUTLOOK:Easing global geopolitical uncertainty and sustained economic growth in the nation has given one-third of the population a positive economic outlook
By Crystal Hsu / Staff reporter
Public confidence has this month grown slightly with regards to the economy and wage increases, thanks to easing geopolitical uncertainty in Europe and sustained economic improvement at home, a survey by Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) said.
A total of 36.9 percent of the respondents said they are positive about the economic outlook, outnumbering peers with neutral views at 33.3 percent and pessimists at 23.3 percent, the monthly poll found.
The rebound came after military conflicts in eastern Ukraine showed signs of easing, while major economic barometers in Taiwan continued to tip upward, Cathay Financial said after polling 18,418 clients online in the first week of this month.
A considerable number of respondents expect pay increases going forward, though their confidence in the job market had dropped slightly, the survey indicated.
About 18 percent of those polled are expecting higher wages in the next six months, compared with 14 percent who voiced worries about a pay cut, the survey said.
The vast majority, 68 percent, expected their pay to remain unchanged.
Though unemployment after seasonal adjustment remained below 4 percent for three consecutive months, 29 percent indicated job-hunting is to become more difficult in the future, while 18.4 percent said it may get easier, according to the survey.
Additionally, 83 percent expect inflationary pressures to deepen by 3 percent to 6 percent, fostering caution for consumption of durable goods as well as big-ticket items, the survey said.
“The public is not eager to spend more, despite improved economic fundamentals,” said Achilles Chen (陳欽奇), assistant manager at the company’s economic research department.
About 32.3 percent of those polled plan to lower spending on big-ticket items, while 23.7 percent intend to reduce purchases of durable goods, the survey said, adding on nearly 50 percent would keep their budget for either intact.
Investors are more upbeat this month about the performance of local shares — with 34.9 percent expecting the main trading index to move upward in the coming six months, high+er than respondents with dim views at 25.7 percent and neutral forecasts at 22.6 percent, the survey said.
Respondents are divided over the wisdom of selling homes now, but most, 75.5 percent, agree it is unwise to buy now, the survey said.
Almost 57.8 percent threw their support behind government plans to raise tax on housing transactions and 58.6 percent said they would consider entering the property market when price corrections exceed 20 percent, the survey said.
Respondents in the north of the nation favor more drastic corrections than their counterparts in other parts of the country, the survey showed, especially as home prices in Greater Taipei, Taoyuan and Hsinchu have picked up significantly in recent years.