Consumer Confidence in China Back to Pre-Recession Levels

Optimism Is Highest in Central and Eastern China

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BEIJING ( -- Chinese consumers' confidence has reached levels not seen since 2007, according to the China Economic Monitoring and Analysis Center (CEMAC), jointly run by China's National Bureau of Statistics and the Nielsen Company. For the survey, they interviewed over 3,500 Chinese shoppers in cities, towns and rural villages, and concluded that the consumer confidence index has risen 19 points, to 108, over the last twelve months.

This significant jump is largely driven by the growing confidence felt by consumers from central and rural areas, as well as big improvements in consumers' perception of their local job market and personal finances.

Consumers in central and eastern China are the most optimistic about China's economy for the remainder of 2010, with nearly eight out of 10 consumers now feeling "good" or "excellent" about their future job prospects, up 12% from the previous quarter.

The confidence level gap between cities has narrowed with confidence strengthening in the towns and villages. Tier five consumers -- those in smaller towns, villages, and rural areas -- and those with low incomes both demonstrated a significant increase in optimism during the first quarter of this year, due to the China's improving economy, strong job prospects and popular government subsidy programs.

Nearly 60% of Chinese consumers claimed that their current level of spending increased compared to last year, particularly for children's education, new clothes, technology, dining out, and home improvements, while 5% said spending decreased.

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