Confidence in local economy continues to improve: survey

Taipei--Confidence in Taiwan's economy has continued to improve as data points to stable recovery, according to a monthly survey conducted by Cathay Financial Holding Co.

The April optimism index toward the current economic situation rose from -13.3 in March to -6.2, while the optimism index toward the economy over the next six months climbed to -8.2, up from -12.2 in March, the survey shows.

Both figures represent the third consecutive month of increase, reaching their highest levels since July 2015, Cathay Financial said.

In the survey, 47 percent of the survey respondents expressed belief that Taiwan's economic growth for 2017 will exceed 1.5 percent, and 5.2 percent of them said that the economy will likely grow 2 percent or more this year.

Cathay Financial said the growing optimism is consistent with data indicating that the country's economy still maintains stable growth momentum.

The latest economic indicators published by the National Development Council in March indicate that Taiwan's economy flashed a green light in February, signaling stable growth for the eighth consecutive month.

In addition, the local manufacturing sector's purchasing managers index (PMI) for March rose to the highest level in 71 months, and Taiwan's exports grew year-on-year for the sixth consecutive month in March.

The survey indicates that the April optimism index toward the local equity market over the next six months also rose to -11.9, up slightly from -12.1 in March.

The index toward the appetite for investors to take risks in the stock market increased from -7.1 in March to -6.1 in April, according to the survey.

The survey was conducted April 1-7 via online questionnaires among 14,960 clients of Cathay Life Insurance and Cathay United Bank, which are 100 percent owned by Cathay Financial.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel