Hong Kong Consumer Confidence Survey (Third Quarter Report 2011)

07 Oct

Press release

Local consumer confidence and expectations for the economic prospects have plunged substantially, according to the third quarter consumer confidence survey in 2011 released today by the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre (BFRC). 

The BFRC commissioned the Public Governance Programme of Lingnan University to interview over 1,000 respondents in a telephone survey between 5 and 13 September, 2011 (excluding 12 September 2011). 

The Bauhinia Hong Kong Consumer Confidence Index (BHKCCI) - an index of consumer confidence over economic expectations and behaviours in the next three months – dropped further from 109.5 in the previous quarter to 97.1 in September this year, a record low since the launch of the BHKCCI.

Consumer expectations of economic conditions over the next 12 months have also deteriorated, as reflected in the continuous downward trend of the Bauhinia Hong Kong Consumer Expectations Index (BHKCEI) from 85 in the previous quarter to 77.5 in September 2011. 

Commenting on the findings, the BFRC Chairman Anthony Wu said, “The gloomy perception of our economic prospects should come as no surprise as the global economic environment has been very unstable with growing concerns about the sluggish economy in the United States and an escalating debt crisis in some of the euro countries.” 

“In contrast, the local economy has performed quite satisfactorily. While the second quarter GDP in Hong Kong grew at a healthy annual rate of 5.1%, our unemployment rate in June fell to a 13-year low of 3.2%. In the face of unfavourable economic news, it appears that the drop of consumer confidence and expectations has more to do with the deterioration of respondents’ own perception than the performance of the actual economy,” 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 have worsened very significantly, while their expectations for the next 12 months have worsened significantly. 

• Respondents’ current perceptions of Hong Kong’s employment situations have worsened slightly. Their expectations for the next three months have worsened, while those for the next 12 months have worsened significantly. 

• Respondents’ current situations of household incomes have slightly deteriorated, while their expectations for the next three months have deteriorated and those for the next 12 months have slightly deteriorated. 

• The employment situations of respondents’ family members over the past three months and their expectations for the next three months have been at par. 

• Property purchases by respondents’ families over the past three months have worsened very significantly and their expectations for the next three months have been at par. 

• Respondents’ expenses on daily necessities over the past three months have worsened slightly, while their expectations for the next three months have worsened significantly. 

• Respondents’ spending on non-recurrent large purchases over the past three months has improved very significantly, while their expectations for the next three months have worsened. 

• Respondents’ investment in financial products over the past three months has worsened, and their expectations for the next three months have worsened very significantly. 

This two-part consumer confidence survey was the tenth quarterly survey commissioned by the BFRC since 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.