Faith in economy growing again
Faith in the economy is growing again, but even the race for chief executive has failed to significantly affect confidence in Hong Kong's political future, according to the South China Morning Post's latest quarterly survey.
With a four-point rise in economic confidence to levels well below the high points of the early 1990s, the 50th survey in the series is far from a rave review of the economy.
Nevertheless, with 20 per cent of the public now expecting an improvement in the economic environment over the next 12 months and a significant drop (from 36 per cent to 25 per cent) in the proportion expecting a further deterioration, the mood appears to be lifting.
Expectations for an improvement in individual fortunes remain modest and fewer respondents than in the previous quarter say they are planning major purchases.
Politically, there was a slight shift in mood from last quarter. More people (75 per cent compared with 70 per cent) said they were confident or very confident about the political future.
The survey, prepared for the Post and Ming Pao by Survey Research Hong Kong (SRH), was based on 1,070 telephone interviews between October 7-11.
The SRH Political Confidence Index edged up to 91 from 90 in July and a seven-year low of 86 in January. Views on the present economic situation were also slightly more hopeful.
About 13 per cent believed the current situation was good, an increase of five percentage points on the previous quarter and up from a mere two per cent in January.
But 28 per cent still described the situation as bad, compared with 32 per cent in July and a high of 53 per cent a year ago.
The SRH Economic Index rose to 87, compared with 83 in July and a record low of 73 a year ago.
Last quarter's seasonal boost in the SRH Purchase Intention Index from 87 to 92 was reversed, the index falling back to 86. Just 14 per cent thought themselves more likely to make a major purchase, compared with 15 per cent in the summer. But the big change was in the number less likely to make a major purchase, rising to 56 per cent from 45 per cent.