According to a survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), while Western companies have been counting on China to deliver solid economic growth numbers, its country’s consumers have been reluctant to increase their domestic spending, the Financial Times reports:
“Chinese consumers, both urban and rural, although optimistic about the future, remain big savers and cautious spenders, despite their government’s concerted effort to stimulate domestic demand,” the EIU said on recently.
Two-thirds of Shanghai residents save a quarter or more of their household income (compared with under 15 per cent for the hardly profligate Swiss), and a third save 35 per cent or more. In less developed smaller cities, the figures are even higher.
Among the half of the rural respondents who do not own a refrigerator, only 40 per cent plan to buy one, and a third of those see it as a distant purchase. “This suggests that more needs to be done to address their broader concerns about the future before programmes aimed at stimulating consumer demand can be more effective,” the EIU said.