BEIJING — China’s consumption upgrades picked up pace last year with increasing demand for high-quality goods and services, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Jan 19.
The Engel’s coefficient, which measures food expenditure as a proportion of total household spending, dropped to 29.3 percent in 2017, from 30.1 percent in 2016 and 33 percent around five years ago, according to an MOC statement.
A lower index usually suggests a higher standard of living. China’s per capita disposable income rose 7.3 percent last year.
“Consumer spending structure continued to improve, and there was a growing appetite for quality, customized products,” the MOC said.
Green products and electronics including smart wearables, robotic cleaners and self-balancing scooters were especially favored by Chinese consumers. Sales of new energy vehicles jumped 53.3 percent from a year ago to 777,000.
The MOC also cited robust consumption in entertainment, tourism, and healthcare.
Contributing 58.8 percent to China’s growth last year, consumption has served as the biggest economic driver for a fourth straight year.