Chinese consumers affected by global crisis too

According to the latest “DDMA Chinese Consumer Sentiment Index“ study, in the course of which each month 9600 urban Chinese consumers between 25 and 45 years of age are interviewed in five cities, the global crisis affects spending of Chinese consumers too. Thus, 45% of Chinese consumers reduced their consumption in February 2009 which was an increase by 7% as compared to January this year.

More than 85% of all consumers are worried with regard to economic prospects and 26% are afraid of becoming unemployed.

According to the DDMA, Chinese consumers were very cautious in February. On the one hand the strict measures taken by the Chinese government had reassured consumers and improved long-term economic prospects, on the other hand 52% of consumers work in companies which cut costs, 27% in businesses which have recently made redundant employees and more than 20% in companies which reduced working hours. All these factors adversely affect the consumer behaviour of the Chinese, lead to insecurity and reduce consumer spending.

According to the survey, the number of Chinese who have recently lost their jobs, grew by 9% in February. Chinese consumers are rather pessimistic with regard to the prospects on the labour market for the six months to come, and as far as the economic situation in their respective cities is concerned they are extremely worried, according to the survey. However, long-term economic prospects have improved on a national and local level. Thus, 47% of Chinese consumers expect the economic situation to be back to normal in 12 month’s time which is an increase by 12% as compared to the findings of the survey in January.

Consumers have cut spending in particular for things such as entertainment (38%), brand name clothing (34%) and brand name cosmetics (26%). Many Chinese also postpone the acquisition of flats, cars, laptop computers, mobile phones, TV sets and household appliances. Thirteen percent, according to DDMA, cut spending on everyday foodstuffs.

“The 2009 Chinese Consumer Sentiment Benchmark Report” by the DDMA provides an overview of the consumer situation in China. The presentation in English is available for free-of-charge download in PDF format. Before starting the download readers have to register, but the data entered are not subject to further verification. GERMAN