Shanghai's consumer and investor confidence rebounds in Q1

Huang Yixuan
The first quarter of 2023 has shown a significant rebound in consumer and investor confidence, with a number of major indices pointing to an optimistic rise.
Huang Yixuan

Shanghai's consumer and investor confidence both rebounded in the first quarter of 2023 amid the economic recovery, according to the latest survey.

The Shanghai University of Finance and Economics' quarterly Index of Consumer Sentiment in Shanghai jumped 11.2 points from the fourth quarter of 2022 to 111.9 points, reversing the quarter-on-quarter decline, and was 7.5 points higher than a year earlier.

The university's Index of Investor Sentiment extended the rise, up 2.24 points from the previous quarter to 113.41 points in January-March period, an increase of 3.95 points year on year.

For both indexes, a reading above 100 signifies optimism while one below 100 indicates pessimism.

On consumer confidence, all major indices scored above the neutral level of 100 points in the first quarter, with both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year increases. This indicates a significant rebound in consumer evaluation of Shanghai's economic development and their expectations for the future, reaching the highest point in a year.

The "Two Sessions" held this quarter have laid the foundation for the high-quality development of China's economy in the future, with both development and stability being emphasized, which has enhanced consumer confidence, said Xu Guoxiang, director of the university's Applied Statistics Research Center, along with Professor Wu Chunjie and Associate Professor Cui Chang from the School of Statistics and Management.

The domestic economy is gradually stabilizing and has entered a normal state, with overall improvement in Shanghai's employment situation. This is partly due to the low base effect from last year, and also sends a positive signal for economic development, they added.

However, the global economy is facing significant challenges after the coronavirus and the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In light of this, Xu suggests improving core competitiveness and focusing on high-quality development, attracting foreign investment and boosting foreign trade to facilitate economic recovery post-pandemic.

It also recommended focusing on the middle-income group and stabilizing their employment and income. The results of this survey shows that the income evaluation and the expectation index of the middle-income group have decreased by 21.8 points and 19.7 points respectively, and are lower than the neutral value, reaching a relatively low level since the survey began, Xu pointed out.

The indicator for the consumer evaluation of Shanghai's economic state fell 3.8 points from the fourth quarter last year to 117.1 points. But on the year-on-year base, it rose of 7 points, reflecting the optimistic economic evaluation over these three months.

Their evaluation index of income was also up by 1.8 points quarter-on-quarter to 100.9 points, back into positive territory.

The indicator of purchase intentions rocketed by 19.6 points from the previous quarter in January-March. Among them, the index of home-buying intentions soared 16.1 points on the quarter, albeit 9.9 points lower than a year earlier. The intention to buy cars and durables, meanwhile, saw quarter-on-quarter surges of 20.1 points and 22.6 points, respectively.

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