Consumption

Luxury brands blame slowdown on China's gifting crackdown

Luxury brands feel the pinch as the mainland reins in gift-giving to curb corruption

The normally upbeat world of luxury goods, buoyed by Chinese demand, has been a little more sober and serious in recent months as slowing earnings at fashion houses and watch ateliers make as many headlines as their latest collections.

Monday, 13 May, 2013, 10:33am 1 comment

Banquet ban bites

New leader Xi Jinping’s December clampdown on exuberant entertaining by the mainland’s seven million government officials seems to have worked. Photo: Reuters

New leader Xi Jinping’s December clampdown on exuberant entertaining by the mainland’s seven million government officials seems to have worked. Shanghai’s gourmet restaurants and posh hotels have seen business slump 20 per cent since officials were limited to four courses plus soup, with no more claret and expensive spirits.

12 Mar 2013 - 9:29pm

Luxury brands still reaping big rewards in China

A worker furnishes a new luxury goods re-seller in Beijing. Photo: AP

The profit margins of global luxury goods retailers on the mainland are so substantial they are shocking, according to an industry insider.

18 Feb 2013 - 5:46pm

Shifts in global demand must be co-ordinated

Illustration: Craig Stephens

Whether we like it or not, the world around us is in a state of constant change. But recent economic trends suggest that this change may be shifting its direction in a fundamental way.

23 Jan 2013 - 2:17am

Corn overtakes rice as diners continue to move to meat

Corn overtakes rice as diners continue to move to meat

The mainland produced more corn than rice for the first time on record in the 2012-13 season, as surging incomes fuelled demand for meat, prompting farmers to focus more on animal feed.

7 Jan 2013 - 4:31am

One growth model won't work across China

Illustration: Craig Stephens

When China's new leadership met at the Central Economic Work Conference in mid-December, it set the tone for economic policies for the year ahead. The key tasks include efforts to boost consumer spending, expand public spending on infrastructure projects, promote urbanisation and increase its quality.

3 Jan 2013 - 5:10am

Cut in fees for credit-card payments to erode bank profits

Transaction fees on credit cards will be lowered next year. Photo: Bloomberg

Beijing's efforts to boost domestic consumption may weigh on banks' profits as a reduction in credit-card transaction fees will eat into their fee income.

The State Council had approved a plan to reduce transaction charges on credit-card payments, Xinhua reported on Tuesday, citing a notice issued by the People's Bank of China.

The PBOC spokesman was not available for comment.

29 Nov 2012 - 3:53am

Salary growth slows in China

The companies who put up these job advertisements in Zhuji in Zhejiang province can expect slower wage growth this year. Photo: AFP

Mainland wage gains have moderated on weaker corporate profits, capping consumer demand as the government seeks to sustain a rebound after a seven-quarter economic slowdown.

27 Nov 2012 - 4:21am

Fears of a free-falling Chinese economy exaggerated

Shoppers in Beijing. China's industrial production and exports have disappointed but domestic demand is holding up. Photo: AFP

It has been five years since the outbreak of the global crisis. Hopes for a strong and lasting recovery have been hit by new setbacks this year. The euro area, where output is contracting, has suffered the most. However, growth has also decelerated elsewhere.

20 Oct 2012 - 1:29am 1 comment

Children missing from typical household in developed West

Enoch Yiu

The mention of a family usually conjures up an image of a mum, a dad and a couple of children. However, a recent Deutsche Bank report shows a different picture of the typical household in advanced markets.

21 Aug 2012 - 4:43am

Think tank head says five-year plan is 'mission impossible'

China's next five-year plan for national development has been described as a 'mission impossible' by a top adviser to Beijing and Hong Kong, who also said he had a hard time understanding President Hu Jintao's guiding ideology.

15 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Huge 'grey yuan' spend predicted

The future belongs to the young, but the world's second-largest economy expects a bonanza in services and products involving wheelchairs, prostheses and nursing homes for the elderly.

24 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

There's a consumer down on farm, but he can't buy

The mismatch of a vast population and weak domestic consumption has long been a headache for mainland officials and economists.

The idea that China has 1.3 billion people and so there should be a market for 1.3 billion pairs of jeans does not work as the majority of the people still live in the countryside with low incomes and poor access to commodities.

6 Mar 2006 - 12:00am