The confidence of consumers in four places of the Greater China region in the 4th quarter of 2014 made a small gain against the previous quarter, according to a recent survey conducted by the Department of Management Sciences at City University of Hong Kong (CityU).
Among the four places, mainland China and Hong Kong saw the most significant increases, up 5.5 and 4.5 points respectively. Yet Hong Kong was still the place with the lowest consumer confidence on the index.
The consumer confidence index uses a scale of 0 to 200, with 0 representing “no confidence” and 200 indicating “complete confidence”. Indices below 100 suggest consumers “lack confidence”, while those above suggest “relative confidence”.
Among the six economic aspects measured by the study for Hong Kong, two recorded indices far below 100: housing purchases and commodity prices. Two recorded indices slightly below 100: stock investments and economic development. Only two recorded indices slightly above 100: living standard and employment (See Table 1).
Hong Kong consumers were most concerned about housing purchases and commodity prices. Although the index for housing purchases was the lowest with only 47.6, it went up by 3.3% from the last quarter which showed a small gain in confidence. The index for commodity prices rose 0.2% to 62.9, which was second to lowest among the six indices.
While the index for stock investments increased 7.2% to 90.7 from the last quarter, the index for economic development jumped 14.4% to 94.6.
The indices for living standard and employment were 105.4 and 107.1 respectively. Although they stood at the highest among the six indices, they were only slightly above the median of 100. It showed that Hong Kong consumers had only a neutral view towards these two aspects. While local citizens’ confidence in employment significantly improved when compared to the last quarter, their confidence in living standards maintained only at a similar level (See Table 1).
In the Greater China region, mainland China recorded the highest confidence index (104.0), followed by Macau (87.4) and by Taiwan (86.2). Hong Kong was the lowest (84.7) (See Figure 1).
Launched in the 1st quarter of 2009, the Chinese Consumer Confidence Index will be announced every quarter. It helps marketers and experts to analyse and compare the views of consumers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan and understand their confidence in economic development, employment, commodity prices, living standards, housing purchases and stock investments. The index is compiled by five universities in four places in the Greater China region. CityU is responsible for the research in Hong Kong. The 4th quarter survey for 2014 in Hong Kong was conducted from 20 to 25 December 2014. The survey interviewed 1,071 residents aged 18 or above who live in the territory most of the time.