1. Survey overview
Survey objective: Since October 2004, the DAB has measured consumer confidence in Hong Kong with an index adopted from the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. This year’s survey is our 29th documenting changes in HKSAR consumer confidence.
The three indexes of the survey:
1) “Current conditions index” for the current year and over the past year
2) “Consumer prediction index” for the year ahead
3) “Consumer confidence index” for the past, current and future
All indexes use 100 to mark “neutral” level confidence, meaning that anything over 100 is defined as “optimistic”, and anything under 100, “pessimistic”.
Survey period: 5-22 June 2018
Survey method: telephone interviews chosen at random
Average time spent on successful interviews: around two minutes
Interview subjects: Adults aged 18 or above
Eligible respondents: 668 persons
The survey results show that as the economy continued to be strong in the first half of 2018, the “Current conditions index” has basically stayed similar to the last survey at 76.5, but the “Consumer prediction index” has dropped from 88.7 to 80.7. The “Consumer confidence index” has dropped from 84 to 79. DAB Legislative Councilor Holden Chow believes that the results reflect the fact that although the economic and employment situations in the first half of 2018 continue to perform well, recent Sino-US trade friction has made people become more conservative in their financial outlook and economic confidence.
The trade war that began mid-July is predicted to last for a long time, and uncertainties and fluctuations in exchange and interest rates are expected. Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po projects that the impact of the trade war would be reflected and felt in the HKSAR economy more in 2019. Holden Chow believes the government must take strong protective measures to support SMEs weather the impact brought on by the trade war and the rising of interest rates; while at the same time, we must use our own advantage to seize opportunities and open up new markets, open up to cross-border collaboration and cooperation and invest in the future, preserve financial stability for the greater good. Our proposals also include expanding cooperation for the Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road initiatives, continuing to implement Mainland-Hong Kong Stock Connect mechanisms with Mainland financial markets and developing innovative tech industries.