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English>>China Business

Wealth gap curbing consumption

By Cong Mu (Global Times)

09:07, November 19, 2012

Income inequality in China is dampening consumption and may impede the much-needed transition to a domestic demand-based economy, a statistician told the Global Times Sunday.

The income of the richest 10 percent of Chinese households made up 57 percent of the total household income in the country in 2010, compared with 44 percent in the US, which is also one of the world's more unequal countries, Gan Li, director of the Survey and Research Center for China Household Finance at the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, said Sunday on the sidelines of an economic forum in Beijing.

Gan cited the statistics from a survey of Chinese household finance carried out by his center last year, which involved 10,000 households.

"This (income gap) is very rare in the world … It is only seen in some African countries, such as South Africa," Gan said.

According to the survey, the wealthiest 10 percent of Chinese households held 85 percent of the value of total household assets in China in 2010, which, Gan said, "is also very unequal."

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