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Stable economy lifts confidence

CHINA’S stabilizing economy has bolstered household confidence and raised companies’ expectations of hiring more workers next year, separate surveys showed yesterday.

The China Wealth Index, which is compiled every two months by Bank of Communications and research firm Nielsen, rallied to 140 in November — a record in the survey’s history as it rose 5 points from September.

A reading above 100 reflects optimism among nearly 2,000 households interviewed.

“China’s economic growth has stabilized around 6.7 percent this year, which creates a comfort zone psychologically for households,” said Lian Ping, chief economist at BoCom.

“The stock market is recovering while the property sector has seen signs of renewed optimism in the past two months, which buoyed the confidence of consumers,” Lian said.

The component indexes showed people’s confidence in the broader economy shot to 136 in November from 128 two months earlier, while the household income gauge gained to 150 from 148. Also, people’s willingness to invest added 6 points to 131.

Another index that measures people’s willingness to buy property rose to 125 from 115, but Lian cautioned that recent tightening measures may rein in sentiment.

A separate survey by recruitment consultancy firm Michael Page found nearly half of the 1,000 companies interviewed across various sectors in the Chinese mainland plan to hire staff next year, while 45 percent expect to offer 6-10 percent salary rise — a sign of confidence from businesses.

“We see steady recruitment,” said Andy Bentote, senior managing director for China at Michael Page. “Professionals are in demand and receive multiple job offers.”

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