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China Consumer Spending Priorities Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Consumer Spending Priorities market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This is an annual report (started since 2014) that looks at macroeconomic circumstances, consumers’ changing financial status, spending confidence and priorities. This year’s report also reviews consumer spending during online shopping festivals such as Double 11.

What you need to know

Sceptics about China’s future economic conditions usually focus on the slowdown in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth, and this year they might also cite the plunging growth in total retail sales. However, Mintel is more positive about what 2019 will look like based on consumer sentiment. Overall, people remain confident about their financial wellbeing and their willingness to spend remains strong, driven by their continuous pursuit for better life quality.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Summer Xia, a leading analyst in the Consumer sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Mintel has revealed that consumers’ current financial situation and how they expect their finances to shape up over the coming year are close to last year’s survey results. This means that overall spending sentiment has not been hit by the negativity in macro-economic indicators Summer Xia
Consumer Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this report
      • Executive Summary

          • Services become more important as a growth driver of the economy
            • Figure 1: Share of the contributions of the three strata to the increase of the GDP, China 2014-18
          • Income growth is still fundamental to maintaining consumer confidence
            • Figure 2: Growth in per capita income and expenditure, by urban and rural, China 2018
          • Consumer confidence hasn’t really been hit by economic slowdown
            • Figure 3: Confidence in improving financial status over the next 12 months, 2014-18
          • Spending shifting from big ticket items to small indulgences
            • Figure 4: Attitudes toward spending – % any agree, 2013, 2016, 2018
          • Online shopping festivals are still important, but will also need to evolve
            • Figure 5: Attitudes towards shopping festivals, December 2018
          • What we think
          • Issues and Insights

            • Bursting two myths about spending
              • The facts
                • The implications
                  • Going beyond using Double 11 as a warehouse clearance sale
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                        • How far can online shopping festivals go?
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                            • State of the Economy

                              • GDP growth slowed down but there are mixed stories
                                • Figure 6: Gross Domestic Product growth rate (vs the same period last year), China 2014 Q1-2018 Q4
                                • Figure 7: Share of GDP growth contribution, China 2015-2018
                              • Tax cut is going to ease household spending burden
                                • Figure 8: Consumer Price Index, China January 2016-December 2018
                                • Figure 9: CPI and per capita income growth, China 2016-18
                              • Job market overall remains stable, though companies become more careful about hiring
                                • Total consumer spending becomes more service-driven
                                  • Figure 10: Total retail sales of consumer goods, China 2008-18
                                  • Figure 11: Growth of per capita disposable income and expenditure, by urban and rural China. 2014-18
                                • 2019: measured stimulus and flexible policy
                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                  • Attentive to financial planning
                                    • While overall confident level remains the same, trends are different by demographics
                                      • Spend more and enjoy life
                                        • New trends in who decide what to buy
                                          • More shopping festivals but big spendings remain at the year end
                                            • Most satisfied purchases in 2018 Double 11: clothing, home and tech
                                            • Current Financial Status

                                              • Overall healthy, with signs of becoming more prudent
                                                • Figure 12: Current financial situation, 2016-18
                                              • Tier one cities more pressured to save
                                                • Figure 13: Current financial situation, by city tier, 2016-18
                                              • Generation 80s are less likely to save a lot
                                                • Figure 14: Current financial situation, by generation, 2017-18
                                              • Males are more likely to struggle to save
                                                • Figure 15: Current financial situation, by gender, 2016-18
                                            • Confidence in Improving Financial Situation

                                              • The majority are still confident…
                                                • Figure 16: Confidence in improving financial status over the next 12 months, 2014-18
                                              • …but different groups are feeling differently
                                                • Females are more optimistic than males
                                                  • Figure 17: Confidence in improving financial status over the next 12 months, by gender, 2016-18
                                                • Confidence dampened most among business owners and civil servants
                                                  • Figure 18: Confidence in improving financial status over the next 12 months, % saying very confident, by occupation, 2017-18
                                              • Attitudes towards Spending

                                                • Few would cut spending to improve financial status
                                                  • Significant increase in willingness to spend on self-indulgence over the last five years
                                                    • Figure 19: Attitudes toward spending, % any agree, 2013, 2016, 2018
                                                • Responsibilities of Spending in Households

                                                  • Gender differences in responsibilities
                                                    • Figure 20: Responsibilities of spending in different categories, by gender, December 2018
                                                  • Independent younger generations
                                                    • Figure 21: Responsibilities of spending in different categories, me, by generation, December 2018
                                                • Popular Online Shopping Festivals

                                                  • More festivals, but Double 11 still dominates
                                                    • Figure 22: Shopping festivals with highest spending, December 2018
                                                  • Most people think they have got the best deal
                                                    • Figure 23: Attitudes toward online shopping festivals, “Purchases made on online shopping festivals have the greatest value for money “, December 2018
                                                    • Figure 24: Attitudes toward online shopping festivals, “Purchase decisions made during online shopping festivals are rational”, December 2018
                                                • Most Satisfying Purchase on Double 11

                                                  • Clothing, home and tech as most satisfying purchases, with Huawei being the most mentioned brand
                                                    • Figure 25: Most satisfying purchase on Double 11, by category, December 2018
                                                  • With a few exceptions, most satisfying brands are largely domestic brands
                                                    • Figure 26: Most satisfying purchase on Double 11, by brand, December 2018
                                                  • Males’ purchases are more focused
                                                    • Figure 27: Most satisfying purchase on Double 11, by category, by gender, December 2018
                                                  • Women, high earners, and those born in the 70s are into small appliances
                                                    • Figure 28: Most satisfying purchase on Double 11, Small appliances, by demographics, December 2018
                                                • Double 11 Heavy Spenders

                                                  • Mid-income earners stand out in spending
                                                    • Figure 29: Types of Double 11 spenders, by personal income, December 2018
                                                  • Not just for low price but also for fun
                                                    • Figure 30: Attitude towards Double 11, December 2018
                                                    • Figure 31: Types of Double 11 spenders, by attitude towards Double 11, December 2018
                                                  • Experience sharing adds to the thrill and joy of spending
                                                    • Figure 32: Attitudes towards sharing shopping experience, “Sharing with friends about items bought on online shopping festivals is very fun”, by types of Double 11 spenders, December 2018
                                                  • Generation 70s feel less engaged
                                                    • Figure 33: Attitudes towards shopping festivals, by generation, December 2018
                                                • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                  • Methodology
                                                    • Abbreviations