Better job prospects, consumption boost consumer confidence in Q3

Updated 2017-11-23 10:34:12 China Daily

China's Consumer Confidence Index soared to a historical high of 114 points in the third quarter of this year, up two points on a quarterly basis, buoyed by improved job prospects and surging consumption power, a new study said on Tuesday.

The Nielsen China consumer confidence index showed the upsurge since the 106 point reading in the fourth quarter of 2016, said the study released on Nov. 22.

The uptrend indicates that "consumer confidence has maintained steady growth in China along with higher incomes for urban and rural residents as the country's economy continued to fare well", the study said.

The findings are in line with China's recent official data. The country's gross domestic product growth stood at 6.8 percent in the July-September period, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

"Since this year, the Chinese economy has shown a relatively obvious trend of structural optimization and adjustment and new growth drivers are taking the place of old ones. The excessive capacity of traditional industries has gradually been solved and new growth points have emerged," said Vishal Bali, managing director of Nielsen China.

"The quality of economic development has improved, with growing indexes of employment, income and prices. Newly emerging sectors such as technology services, financial technology, audio and visual networks, digital economy and shared economy have provided new vitality to the Chinese economy," he said.

What this means is not only more job opportunities for the society, but also new demand for consumption. It has created more possibilities for the transformation and upgrade of China's consumption structure, said Bali.

Nielsen's CCI index measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finance and immediate spending intentions. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively.

In the third quarter, the Nielsen report shows job prospects grew from 66 to 68. Immediate spending intentions increased from 56 to 58, the largest increase since 2014. At the same time, personal finance reached 70, up one point from the last quarter.

Bali said the government is pushing for reforms to streamline administrative processes, such as cutting multiple certificates to one. As such reform advances, mass entrepreneurship and innovation has risen and market vitality has been stimulated, he added.

"At the same time, the Chinese economy continues to shift toward a growth model driven by service sector, which adds new jobs and reduces unemployment," he said.

Nielsen finds that beyond enjoyment, consumers are seeking for healthy and environmental lifestyle. Purchase intentions in the next 12 months of water purifiers, smart bracelets, air purifiers, that are indispensable for a healthy living, rose by four points, two points, and two points, respectively.

The growth rate of electric vehicles stands at 30.8 percent, while growth rate of integrated circuits, and solar cells output are 20 percent, the report said.

Consumers are also paying more attention to healthy living, especially health food, according to Nielsen's data. Consumers' health concepts have also expanded, beyond food, to personal care and household cleaning products.

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