China creates world’s largest middle-income class

By Bai Yang from People’s Daily


China has created the world’s largest middle-income class, said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in his government work report delivered on March 5at the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress.


Over the past five years, standard of living in China has been constantly improving, he added, elaborating that personal income has increased by an annual average of 7.4 percent, outpacing the economic growth.


Incomplete statistics showed that more than 400 million people of China’s nearly 1.4-billion population have become middle-income earners, said He Lifeng, director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), adding that the figure is still on a fast rise.


The expanding group will create a better environment for the growth of domestic market, said the director.


Predicting a bright prospect for China’s future consumption market, He said that the consumption is expected to contribute about 60 percent to the economic growth in 2018.


Data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that China’s per capita disposable income stood at 25,974 yuan ($4,099.4) in 2017, with the median at 22,408 yuan ($3,556.8).


In the past year, the country presented a better-than-expected answer sheet in fulfilling missions of economic and social development, with its GDP growing by 6.9 percent and per capita disposable income by 7.3 percent, both faster than those in the previous year.


The director noted that China will open itself wider to the world, and the move indicates its resolution and confidence to further increase consumption of its middle-income population, and expand overall consumption.


Outbound travelling has grown into a main criterion to measure the happiness of urban households and the young generation in China. Thanks to the enlarging middle-income population, more and more Chinese are traveling overseas, which is good news to the global economic growth.


China has been the world’s largest source of outbound tourists for consecutive years. In 2017, about 130 million Chinese tourists traveled abroad, up 7 percent over the same period of last year, said a recent report on China’s outbound tourism.


The latest statistics from the UN World Tourism Organization reveals that overseas consumption by Chinese tourists accounted for over one fifth of the world’s total.


The tourism industry is expected to create over one quarter of the new jobs globally in the next decade, reported the Singapore-based Lianhe Zaobao recently, adding that China’s outbound tourists will be a key engine in this regard.


The Chinese market is full of potential as the country is expected to issue about 10 million new passports every year in the future, the paper added.


Chinese tourists take photo in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Photo from CFP)

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