High-income households contribute half of total savings

Updated 2017-07-28 09:55:21 Global Times

High-income households account for a majority of all household savings in China, with the top 5 percent contributing half of total savings though the country's Gini coefficient continues to fall, according to the latest survey.

The China Household Finance Survey, released by the Survey and Research Center for China Household Finance of the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE), shows that the top 5 percent of high-income households make up 50 percent of the total savings of Chinese households, news site money.163.com reported.

The fact that high-income households have contributed most to the total savings means current policies to stimulate consumption have had a limited effect, Gan Li, head of the Survey and Research Center, was cited in the report as saying. Gan suggested that the government provide subsidies to low-income households to boost consumption, which he believes can narrow the country's income gap.

The Gini coefficient, which measures income or wealth distribution, has fallen to 0.465 in 2016, down 0.009 since 2012, amid the government's efforts to increase subsidies, Netease Finance reported.

"China's Gini coefficient has been falling since 2008," Li Changan, a professor at the School of Public Administration of the University of International Business and Economics, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"Many factors have contributed to the drop, including the narrowing income gap between urban and rural residents. The government has implemented many policies in recent years to support farmers, which have significantly increased the income of rural households, especially of the poor," Li said.

The Chinese government has been stepping up efforts to provide subsidies to increase the purchasing power of low-income households, including the "free lunch" project and the "income bonus" scheme, which have raised the employment rate of participating low-income households by 13 percent, money.163.com reported.

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