China's consumer confidence index reached 93.1 points in September, rising for the third consecutive month, according to a report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released Wednesday.
The report, compiled by the China Economic Monitoring and Analysis Center under the NBS to reflect the evaluation of consumers on the current economic situation and their expectation on economic outlook, attributed the rise of the index mainly to the steady rally of the consumer satisfaction index.
"Most respondents to our survey believed industries battered by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), like transport, retail sales, catering service and tourism, have mostly recovered and some have resumed normal growth," said an analyst with the center.
"We also learned from the survey that consumers' purchasing desire of durable goods has risen. Traditionally, September and October are golden periods for the commerce sector," he said.
The analyst said pro-consumption policies, like easing restrictions on car ownership and use and making formerly state-owned houses tradable on the second-hand housing market, also played a role in boosting the index.
According to the analyst, most consumers believe it is a foregone conclusion that China will maintain fast economic growth for the whole of 2003. However, many are only cautiously optimistic about the growth of household income for the full year.
Under the influence of SARS, China's consumer confidence index touched bottom in the second quarter, standing at 88.6 points in June.
(Xinhua News Agency October 9, 2003)