Welcome to this week's skinny on China. With most Chinese having returned from holiday and back to the normal routine, we're starting to see the data for one of China's most important periods. Golden September and Silver October are traditionally China’s strongest months for residential real estate, yet sales have been subdued so far this year. While the property folk may be grieving, the travel agents are thrilled – China’s consumers spent 44% more than last year on tourism during October’s Golden Week holiday, with a 41% increase in visitors to the nation’s top attractions. For those travelling overseas, transactions increased by 33% on Union Pay, China’s bank card payment system. Although the numbers were boosted by combining Mid-Autumn Festival and October National Day, it's not bad growth, even by China’s standards.
In other news, inflation for the year to September clocked in at 1.9%, much more manageable than last year's 6.1%, bringing good news to consumers and signs of an increasingly realistic Chinese market. Following are the usual news and views on China's consumers. Enjoy!
Chinese Consumers Increasingly Divided: Worth noting is the increasing emotional purchases by the young and affluent (earning more than $16K p.a.). They're expected to make up more than 50% of the market by 2020, so watch them closely.
McKinsey: China's Consumer Habits Approaching Rich Nations: Another view on increasingly emotional purchasing behaviour from China's youths' and how it's becoming more like developed countries.
From Mass To Mainstream: Keeping Pace With China’s Rapidly Changing Consumers: Chinese consumers are more positive than elsewhere in the world. Insights into the changhing consumers from McKinsey.
China: Bored With Window Shopping?: Are Chinese consumer's preferences changing from window shopping to other forms of entertainment and convenience?
Chinese Consumers Set To Fuel Growth: 40% of Chinese expect to increase their spending on consumer goods next year. Up from 36% last year and 23% in 2010.
Chinese Consumers Are Becoming More Self-Indulgent (i.e. more like everyone else): Chinese consumer's lifetime spending up 3,800% since 1960 – some interesting statistics.
How China's Internet Is Going Mobile, and Why That Could Be A Problem: Good article on the Chinese who only use mobiles to surf the net – they're the younger and poorer demographics.
Chinese Demand For Chicken and Fish Will Increase: A food marketing professor is picking China will eat a lower percentage of pork and demand for white meat will increase as Chinese consumers become more health-conscious.
All That Glitters Is Sold: The Chinese market for jewelry was $6.3 billion in 2011 and growing strong, driving domestic makers to up their game and compete internationally.
Prada Defies Luxury Brand Hand-Wringing In China: Prada believes all the talk about reduced demand for luxury goods in China is a little hysterical, it is a case of having to adapt to changing Chinese consumers preferences.
Louis Vuitton Risks Logo Fatigue As Chinese Tastes Mature: Chinese consumers are still spending on luxury goods, they're just making more discerning purchases.
Bye Bye Bling – China’s Consumers Move On From Logos: Another report reiterating the reduction in bling on luxury goods in China.
That's the skinny for the week!
If you've missed earlier news or need to learn more, there's a trove of information about Chinese consumers in prior China Skinny Weeklys right here. You can have this delivered to your inbox each week by subscribing for email updates, or if social media is more your thing, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS feed. If you have any feedback or suggestions for future articles, please let us know.