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Consumer confidence near record high in May: report

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) was pegged at 85.59 points in May, which was the sixth highest score in history, according to a report released by the National Central University yesterday.

The CCI in May was close to the record high of 86.89 points. The score measures consumers' confidence for the next six months. A score of 100 or more represents optimism while anything below represents pessimism.

All six sub-indexes of CCI - the stock market, price levels, job market, durable goods purchases, domestic economy and household finances -rose in May.

Dachrahn Wu (吳大任), director of Taiwan Economic Development at National Central University, said May's CCI indicates the economy is on track of recovery.

The stock purchase confidence index rose 4.7 points to 91.7 in May, marking the third consecutive month of growth. The extent of rise was also the largest among the six sub-indexes.

The job market index registered at 110.35. The unemployment rate in April was pegged at 3.91 percent, the lowest figure in 71 months. Wu forecast the job market index to rise further, as economy improves down the road.

The durable goods purchasing index, which in general represents real estate purchases, was pegged at 108.85, which marked the highest figure in more than six years.

While the government has launched a number of measures to suppress rising home prices, Wu remains optimistic about the local real estate market. Based on past experience, housing prices usually fluctuate with economic performance, he said. If the economy is good, and the stock market performs well, “the real estate never declined,” Wu explained, adding that the real estate index in May is good proof of Taiwan's housing market performing well.

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