The Chinese middle class, now estimated at more than half a billion strong, has become a key driver for the country’s economy.
The newly released data indicates that China’s retail sales grew more than 11 percent in 2015, despite economic slowdown. Consumer spending was one of the brightest spots in the Chinese economy, which is now $10 trillion in size, and registered a 6.9 percent growth last year.
A Bloomberg article, “Beyond the Headlines, Five Things to Watch in China’s GDP Report,” wrote:
Rapid income growth over the last decade has made Chinese consumers an increasingly powerful force, snapping up Apple iPhones, Tiffany diamonds and Toyota sedans.
Urban household incomes increased more than 8 percent, the new data shows. China also added 13 million jobs last year, exceeding the government target of 10 million, thanks to the booming service sector.
The unemployment rate was at 5.2 percent, about the same as the United States.
While investment in fixed assets slowed, the residential housing market is rebounding. The data also shows that “home-price recovery spread to more cities in December, especially smaller ones.”
All these indicate that the Chinese middle class is still growing, Continue reading