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China consumers to overtake U.S. in a decade: Credit Suisse

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Tuesday , January 12th, 2010

Household income in China surged in the last six years, especially for top earners, putting the country on track to eclipse the United States as the biggest consumer market in a decade, Credit Suisse said in a report on Tuesday.

The bank’s survey of 2,700 respondents showed a big rise in property and car purchases, underscoring why many investors are betting big on a rise in China’s consumer sector.

“The next big theme for China in the new decade is the rise of private consumption, in our view,” said Dong Tao, China economist with Credit Suisse in Hong Kong. “It is likely to provide a badly needed source of spending for the rest of the world, promoting a global rebalance of trade, consumption and growth.”

Based on growth in household income and estimates of economic growth, he expects the share of China’s private consumption to GDP to reach 23.1 percent in 2020, just surpassing the U.S. ratio at 22.9 percent. Critics accuse China of contributing to global economic imbalances by saving too much. However, the amount that Chinese consumers save relative to household income has dropped to 12 percent in 2009 from 26 percent in 2004.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 5:23 am

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