Public faith in dollar peg as confidence falls

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 December, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 December, 1997, 12:00am

ONLY seven per cent of people think Hong Kong should break the dollar peg, although confidence in the economy and personal finances have both fallen sharply since the summer, according to an opinion poll carried out for the Sunday Morning Post.

The poll, by Asian Commercial Research, showed that 71 per cent thought the peg should be kept and 22 per cent expressed no opinion.

Confidence in the economy fell from 82 per cent in August to 60 per cent at the beginning of December, with the sharpest fall coming among those aged between 25 and 44.

People's confidence in their own financial circumstances during the coming 12 months was down from 79 per cent in August to 66 per cent last week, with the biggest drop among those aged between 35 and 44. In both cases, the decline in confidence was lowest among those under 24.

The poll also showed that among people aged between 18 and 64, 16 per cent of those questioned said they had lost money on the stock exchange in the past two months, six per cent said they had gained and four per cent had come out even. The number of people holding shares fell between October and early December from 26 per cent to 17 per cent.

In October, 25 per cent of women said they held shares compared with 21 per cent among men. By the first week in December, those figures had fallen to 19 per cent for women and 15 per cent for men.

The poll was conducted by telephone with a representative sample of 545 people aged 18 to 64 in Cantonese-speaking households between December 2 and 5.