The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for China reached its highest level in the first quarter since 2015, boosted by a rise in confidence among consumers in western China, according to the latest quarterly report by Nielsen Group released on Tuesday.
The CCI, which measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finance and immediate spending intentions, stood at 110 in the first quarter of 2017, two points higher than the fourth quarter of 2016. In the third quarter of 2014, the CCI stood at 111, but it then began a long decline.
The CCI in western China experienced the largest increase among the country's four regions, rising from 101 to 106 in the first quarter. The CCIs of southern and northern China increased two percentage points to 113 and 102, respectively, while the eastern region was stable at 120.
"A very focused policy on promoting economic development [in western China] by the government has seen industries moving to the western part of the country, creating employment. This leads to people generating cash and having stronger confidence in their financial status," Vishal Bali, managing director of Nielsen China, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
The government's approach is starting to pay dividends in terms of consumers becoming much more able to spend, Bali said, noting that consumption patterns are also shifting from basic products to more sophisticated items.