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According to the fourth quarter consumer confidence survey 2010 released by the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre (BFRC) today, consumers’ perceptions of the local economy in the short-term future have stayed at par with that of the previous survey conducted three months ago, while their expectations of the medium-term future have worsened slightly. BFRC commissioned the Public Governance Programme of Lingnan University to interview over 1,000 respondents in a telephone survey between 1 and 7 December 2010. The Bauhinia Hong Kong Consumer Confidence Index (BHKCCI) - an index of consumer confidence over economic expectations and behaviours in the next three months – was 118.9 in December this year, which was more or less the same as the value of the index in September (117.1). Meanwhile, consumer expectations of economic conditions over the next 12 months have worsened slightly, as reflected in the slight fall in the Bauhinia Hong Kong Consumer Expectations Index (BHKCEI) from 94.6 in September to 92.1 in December. BFRC Chairman Anthony Wu said, “The two indices are believed to be the result of a mixture of good and bad economic news over the past months. Against the backdrop of the continuous booming economies in the Mainland and the emerging markets, the future direction of global economic development following the launch of the QEII as well as the emergence of local inflationary trends have created uncertainties amongst consumers and investors.” “Other important findings of the survey include a marked improvement of consumer expectations of their expenses on daily necessities and non-recurrent large purchases with the approach of Christmas and better sentiments in investment of financial products. On the other hand, Government’s recent measures appear to have an impact on the overheated property market, which has cooled down during the survey period,” he added. Detailed findings of the survey are as follows: • On Hong Kong’s overall economic conditions, respondents’ current perceptions and their expectations for the next three months and the next 12 months have worsened. • Respondents’ current perceptions of Hong Kong’s employment situations have remained unchanged and their expectations for the next three months have worsened; their expectations for the next 12 months have worsened slightly. • Respondents’ current situations of household incomes and their expectations for the next three months and the next 12 months have stayed unchanged. • The employment situations of respondents’ family members have improved slightly over the past three months. Their expectations for the next three months have remained unchanged. • Over the past three months, property purchases by respondents’ families have worsened, and their expectations for the next three months have worsened significantly. • Respondents’ expenses on daily necessities over the past three months have remained unchanged, while their expectations for the next three months have improved significantly. • Respondents’ spending on non-recurrent large purchases over the past three months has worsened, while their expectations for the next three months have improved very significantly. • Over the past three months, respondents’ investment in financial products and their expectations for the next three months have improved significantly. This two-part consumer confidence survey was the seventh quarterly survey commissioned by the BFRC since its launch in June 2009. Questions in the first part of the survey are related to respondents’ perception of Hong Kong’s overall economic conditions, Hong Kong’s employment situations and respondents’ household incomes in three timeframes (i.e. the current situation, the next three months and the next 12 months). Questions in the second part are related to respondents’ various economic and consumption behaviours for the past three months and the next three months.