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Middle-income group's quality matters

China Daily | Updated: 2022-04-12 07:53

A customer shops at a secondhand luxury store in Shanghai on Dec 9, 2021. [Photo provided to China Daily]

According to data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics, the size of China's middle-income group is now 400 million people, up more than 54 times from 7.358 million in 2002.

A large middle-income group usually improves the country's spending power and social stability. However, despite the expansion, statistics show that in 2021 the middle-income group accounted for only 27.9 percent of China's population, compared with 55.9 percent in the United States and more than 70 percent in Britain, Germany, France and other Western countries.

For China, it also matters whether there are more people at the upper end or at the lower end of the middle-income population. If the overall income level of the middle-income group is in the upper limit of the group, then the group's consumption power and social stability will be stronger. The proportion of high-income people is relatively high in developed countries. If the pattern of high-income group accounts for a relatively high proportion and low-income group for a very low proportion, it is an ideal income structure. Obviously, China is still to reach there.

China has a relatively high rural population and so far the rural middle-income group accounts for less than half of China's entire middle-income population. Also, their income is lower than that of the urban middle-income group. Therefore, how to effectively improve the number, proportion and income levels of rural middle-income people is very important.

Statistics show that more than 70 percent of residents' household assets in China are real estate, and if fixed assets such as cars and household appliances are deducted, the proportion of real current assets is relatively low.

So, optimizing the structure of assets of the middle-income group and reducing their liabilities is very important.

While advocating the expansion of the country's middle-income group, how to improve their income levels, income quality, consumption ability and consumption expectations is of vital importance.

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