Distant Holy Grail: China’s Consumers

Forbes reports:

is showing steady improvement in domestic consumption, as global and domestic companies set their sights and hopes on the world’s most populous . But bolstering the power of its consumers to full potential poses a long-term challenge for China and requires a structural rebalancing of economic growth.

China’s retail sales continue to grow robustly, in line with market expectations and the year’s first-quarter pace. Retail sales for April climbed 14.8% from the same time last year, to 934.3 billion yuan ($137.0 billion), according to the National Bureau on Wednesday. That compared with the market forecast of a 14.4% rise and March’s gain of 14.7%. Beijing has unleashed numerous subsidies and other incentives to get consumers shopping more and saving less. In adjusted terms, China posted 17.0% real retail sales growth, compared with 16.4% in March, according to some analysts’ calculations.

Top retail buys were food, , and house décor. Food prices have dropped considerably on depressed commodity costs, and housing sales have picked up amid tax breaks and looser .

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