A survey conducted by the private Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) found that Macau’s consumer confidence rebounded slightly in the fourth quarter last year from a consecutive three-quarter decline, while confidence in buying a flat was the second lowest record at 41.67, compared to the lowest 37.6 in the first quarter of 2010.
According to the results cited by The Macau Post Daily today, even though confidence in buying a home declined significantly, a considerable rise in confidence in the economy and employment offset the negative effect to cause locals’ overall consumer confidence to still increase slightly.
The results of the survey on Macau’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for the fourth quarter last year compared to all previous results were presented in a press conference yesterday, hosted by the director of the university’s Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD), Professor Chan Lai Kow, Associate Professor Liu Chengkun, and project co-ordinator Chu Sam Iong, at the MUST campus in Taipa.
The survey asked 1,012 randomly chosen respondents aged 18 or above via telephone.
The index values range from 0 (absolutely no confidence) to 200 (complete confidence), with a benchmark of 100 meaning “neutral”. A value below the benchmark indicates “insufficient confidence”, while a value above 100 means “having confidence”.
The survey showed that the CCI has been less than 100 every quarter since the first one was published in the fourth quarter of 2008, indicating the city’s residents haven’t had enough confidence to make any major purchases throughout the five-year period.
The index is composed of six factors including the local economy, employment, inflation, standard of living, cost of housing, and investments.
The survey showed that “home purchases” and “inflation” have registered the lowest values among the six factors every quarter beginning in the second quarter of 2009. The low values for these two categories mean that consumers are not at all confident about buying a home and their confidence level is greatly depressed by inflation.
For “home purchases”, the figure for the fourth quarter last year recorded a third consecutive decline, dropping to 41.67 from 45.96 in the previous quarter. The survey said the decline indicated that “the public’s pessimism about purchasing a property is increasing”.
The overall CCI recorded 86.32 for the fourth quarter last year, up from 86.21 in the previous quarter and was still below 88.4 for the fourth quarter in 2012, which was the highest since the survey launched.
The only two sub-indices with values higher than 100 were the “local economy” and “employment.” The former scored 116.97 for the fourth quarter, up from 113.06 in the previous quarter and the latter also rose to 125.21 from 119.57 in the previous quarter. The scores of the two sub-indices showed consumers were “increasingly optimistic about the current economic and employment situation”, the survey said.
According to the results, the “local economy” score for the last quarter was the second highest recorded, compared to the highest of 117.5 in fourth quarter of 2012.
The survey concluded that as a result of the newly released figures, the government needs to keep working to obtain a better balance between supply and demand in the housing market.(macaunews)