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The second quarter consumer confidence survey 2012 released by the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre (BFRC) today reflected a deterioration of consumers’ confidence and expectations in the prospects of local economy, as compared to the previous survey.
The BFRC commissioned the Public Governance Programme of Lingnan University to interview over 1,000 respondents in a telephone survey between 4 and 10 June 2012.
The Bauhinia Hong Kong Consumer Confidence Index (BHKCCI) - an index of consumer confidence over economic expectations and behaviours in the next three months – fell from 104.3 in March to 101.2 in June this year.
Meanwhile, consumer expectations of economic conditions over the next 12 months also declined, as reflected in the drop of the Bauhinia Hong Kong Consumer Expectations Index (BHKCEI), from 82.1 in the previous quarter to 78.7 in this survey.
BHKCCI and BHKCEI were set to be 100 in the base period (June 2009).
Commenting on the findings, the BFRC Chairman Anthony Wu said, “More consumers felt uncertain about the economic outlook. The slow recovery of the global economy might have brought vulnerability and weakened consumer confidence in the overall economic conditions.”
“On the domestic front, the worsening perceptions of Hong Kong’s economy was in line with the slide in the stock market, as the Hang Seng Index, a possible correlate of consumer confidence, dropped to its lowest level of the year on 4 June and remained at a low level over the period when the survey was conducted,” he added.
Another noteworthy finding of the survey was the decrease in consumer confidence in property purchase in the short-term future, which was believed to be attributed to the reservations about the property market.
However, consumers have been rather positive about specific economic activities, especially with regard to expenses on daily necessities and non-recurrent large purchases.
Detailed findings of the survey are as follows:
Respondents’ current perceptions of Hong Kong’s overall economic conditions, as well as their expectations for the next three months have worsened very significantly, while their expectations for the next 12 months have worsened.
Respondents’ current perceptions of Hong Kong’s employment situations have slightly improved, while their expectations for the next three months have significantly worsened and those for the next 12 months have worsened.
Respondents’ current situations of household incomes, as well as their expectations for the next three months have slightly worsened and those for the next 12 months have been at par.
The employment situations of respondents’ family members over the past three months have been at par and their expectations for the next three months have improved slightly.
Property purchases by respondents’ families over the past three months have improved, but their expectations for the next three months have worsened significantly.
Respondents’ expenses on daily necessities over the past three months have been at par, while their expectations for the next three months have slightly improved.
Respondents’ spending on non-recurrent large purchases over the past three months has slightly improved and their expectations for the next three months have improved.
Respondents’ investment in financial products over the past three months has worsened significantly, and their expectations for the next three months have improved.
This two-part consumer confidence survey was the 13 th quarterly survey commissioned by the BFRC since June 2009. Questions in the first part of the survey are related to respondents’ perceptions 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.