Business / Economy

Consumer confidence increases to best level in 21 months

By Chen Jia (China Daily) Updated: 2014-11-20 09:51

Chinese consumer confidence rose to a 21-month high this month, helped by a rebound in the housing and stock markets - positive signs that may drive up overall growth in the fourth quarter, an international finance group said on Wednesday.

The Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index, an indicator based on figures gathered by the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, increased to 157.1 in November, from 155.1 in October and 152.3 in September.

The index reflects consumer price expectations of 1,000 Chinese aged over 14.

The bank said consumers had taken confidence particularly from the slight recovery in the real estate market and that household consumption still had great potential to grow, given the momentum of record-high online sales from the recent Singles' Day promotion on Nov 11.

E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd registered a record 57 billion yuan ($9.31 billion) in sales during the annual shopping event with around 278 million packages delivered, one for every five people in China.

A sub-index within the ANZ study showed that the financial confidence level of consumers climbed to 48.8 from 47.2 a month earlier.

The bank said consumers now expect inflation to drop for the fifth consecutive month to 4.08 percent, suggesting that with less inflationary pressure monetary policies could be eased, giving a boost to economic growth.

"The November survey results suggest that consumer sentiment bodes well for a steady rebound in fourth-quarter GDP growth," said Liu Ligang, ANZ's chief economist for greater China.

"We have seen positive signals in the housing and stock markets. The record sales figure on Singles' Day also reflects great opportunities for China's e-commerce market."

Lui said the recovery in housing transactions has been going on since late September as the government eased house purchasing restrictions, and that policymakers may intensify their effort to stabilize the market in coming months.

Recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics indicated that retail sales growth slowed to 11.5 percent year-on-year in October, from 11.6 percent in September and 11.9 percent in August.

Nomura Securities Co Ltd also published its China MNI business sentiment index on Wednesday, which rose to 55.2 in November from 51.7 in October, again suggesting that growth momentum had improved.

The brokerage said it expected further policy easing to result in 7.3 percent GDP growth in the fourth quarter, before slowing to 6.8 percent in 2015.

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