|Yan Xuan, President of Nielsen Great China, speaks at the press conference in Beijing, May 27, 2014. (People's Daily Online/Huang Jin)|
Chinese consumer confidence in the first quarter of 2014 was measured at the same record high of 111 points as in the previous quarter, three points higher than the same period the previous year, and well above the global average of 96, according to findings from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.
Although its level remained flat this quarter, China maintains a leading position among the world's six largest economies, which all demonstrated consumer confidence gains. Listed by the level of the increase, overall confidence increased eight points in France (59), six points in the U.S. (100), four points in Germany (99), three points in the U.K. (87), and one point in Japan (81).
Chinese consumer fundamentals remain strong
"Amid the slowdown in Chinese GDP growth from 7.7 percent in Q4 of last year to 7.4 percent this quarter, Chinese consumer fundamentals remain strong," said Yan Xuan, President of Nielsen Great China. "As well as robust consumer confidence among Chinese consumers, the healthy growth of disposable income for both rural and urban residents, both on an annual or a quarterly basis, made it possible for a continuous growth in overall retail sales in China."
According to Nielsen information, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sales in the Chinese market rebounded back to 8 percent growth in Q1, two percentage points increase compared with the same period of last year.
"The strong buying intentions of Chinese consumers reflected in these upbeat trends also contributed to the increasing importance of the service industry to China's overall GDP, which is essential for the ongoing restructuring of the Chinese economy from investment led to one that is driven by domestic consumption," said Yan Xuan.
ONE story of convergence
The tracking line of the Chinese Consumer Confidence Index shows, for the first time, a trend of convergence, both by city-tier and by region.
"From a city-tier perspective, the news is of lower tier cities catching up with tier 1 cities in consumer optimism. From a regional perspective, consumer confidence is rising in West China, in particular in mid-west China which includes Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Shaanxi, Chongqing and Guangxi according to Nielsen's definition," said Yan Xuan.
The survey was conducted from Feb. 17 to March 7 2014, and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America.