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Chinese shopping habits may disappoint

Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 01:23

Chinese consumer confidence has ebbed thanks to crashing markets, currency devaluations and flattening wage growth. As Grace Pascoe reports, that's bad news for Beijing which is hoping consumer spending will help boost its slowing economy.

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More bad news for the global economic outlook. Chinese shoppers - who largely propped up growth last year. Are likely to trim spending this year. Delaying smartphone upgrades, dining out less and cutting down on impulse buys. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) TATTOO ARTIST, CAO SHAODONG, SAYING: "When it comes to buying things, if they're essential I'll buy them if not I probably won't." (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) SHANGHAI RESIDENT, CATHERINE HUANG, SAYING: "Prices are going up but wages aren't. I'm trying not to buy any luxuries and look out for discounts." Chinese consumer confidence hit a record low this month - according to a survey by ANZ bank. The number of people expecting economic "bad times" leaping above 22 percent from 16 percent. Mark Kidd is a market researcher at Ipsos, (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARKET RESEARCH AGENCY IPSOS DIRECTOR, MARK KIDD, SAYING: "China is going through rebalancing. They're trying to move away from an infrastructure and manufacturing-led economy to a more service economy, for which consumer spending is crucial." Retail sales of consumer goods were still up 11 percent for 2015 to over $400 billion dollars. But with recent currency devaluation, crashing markets and flattening wage growth Chinese consumers may focus on saving in 2016. And with so many products sold in China being imports - that's bad news for those selling them.

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Chinese shopping habits may disappoint

Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 01:23