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MUST SURVEY | Locals increasingly gloomy on buying houses

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The Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) yesterday published the consumer confidence index of the second quarter this year, which showed a minor drop in the local consumer confidence. The result also suggested that residents are becoming less confident in buying houses.
The consumer confidence index in Q2 is 85.32, which has dropped 0.67 points compared to the previous quarter, and remains below the benchmark of 100 points.
Among all eight sub-indexes, house purchasing was once again the lowest, scoring only 39.38 points, one point lower than the first quarter this year. This, the research team suggested, showed that residents have become even more pessimistic regarding the prospect of buying houses.
Moreover, the sub-index of local economy has recorded a 5.55-percent, or 6.36-point, fall to 108.27, the biggest drop among all the sub-indexes. Though it still remains above 100, which means that residents are still optimistic, the figure indicated that consumers are becoming more cautious regarding the economy of Macau.
Another two sub-indexes, employment and living quality, also saw drops of 1.28 and 0.71 points respectively, with living quality also landing below 100 points. This means that residents are still optimistic about employment, but feel pressure on their daily lives due to inflation.
It is worth mentioning that the sub-index of commodity quality has risen 3.77 points to 58.8. The research team explained that this showed that residents are expecting weaker inflation.
Another index that recorded a rise is the stock investment sub-index.
The research team commented that consumers are becoming more cautious when it comes to the economy of Macau. The team suggested that, in the second half of 2014, the government should reduce the uncertainty in the local economy; strengthen the result on curbing the inflation; reduce the pressure on residents that is brought by the commodity prices; facilitate the balance in the supply and demand of the housing market; focus more on education and training; as well as create more employment opportunities. These, the team believes, are the ways to strengthen the consumer confidence index.

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