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Taiwan's economic confidence takes positive turn in January

TAIPEI -- Public confidence in Taiwan's economy gained momentum in January, with people showing more optimism over the country's economic outlook, stock market and job market, according to the results of a monthly survey released Friday.

The survey, conducted by Cathay Financial Holding Co. (國泰金控), found that those having a positive outlook on the economy outnumbered those with a negative view for the first time since June 2013.

Some 32.6 percent of respondents said Taiwan's economy will improve over the next six months, while 30.2 percent expressed pessimism and 29.9 percent held a neutral view, the survey found.

On the outlook for the stock market, 68.7 percent of respondents predicted that the Taiwan Stock Exchange's benchmark index would range between 7,800 and 8,700 in the first half of this year, while 20.3 percent forecast a level of above 8,700.

The stock index closed down 0.18 percent at 8,596.00 on Friday.

Confidence in the job market, meanwhile, rose even though pessimists still outnumbered optimists by 24.4 percentage points, the best reading since June 2013.

The survey was conducted Jan. 1-7 among 33,478 clients of Cathay Life Insurance and Cathay United Bank.

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