With things looking up across China’s economic dashboard, sentiment among consumers and households is the strongest in more than two decades.
The consumer confidence index climbed to 114.6 in July. That’s up from last May, when it dipped below 100, the line separating optimism and pessimism.
“The strong job market and the associated robust income growth have supported consumer confidence,” said Robin Xing, the chief China economist at Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong. “Consumer confidence is further driven by the unleashed consumption potential in lower-tier cities,” he said, citing their faster income growth, supportive government policies, infrastructure investment, and more affordable housing markets that make residents more willing to spend.
The strength of the world’s second-largest economy has surprised forecasters, with GDP growth accelerating to 6.9% in the first 2 quarters this year. Per capita disposable income rose 7.3 percent on year in the first half, statistics bureau data show. The yuan has been on a tear, posting the best performance in