Consumer confidence in China hits four year high, says Nielsen

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 February, 2017, 10:52pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 February, 2017, 11:17pm

Chinese consumer confidence in the last quarter of 2016 hit the highest level in four years as more people feel more optimistic about their job prospects, according to latest data from a global market researcher.

With income levels rising, urban dwellers also tend to enjoy live concerts more often while embracing e-commerce in a big way, a report released by Nielsen on Thursday showed.

Specifically, online purchases of fruit, vegetables and other fresh food saw a 10 per cent jump in terms of popularity from a year earlier, while beverages, packaged food and nutritional products were also among items that Chinese shoppers increasingly order online.

Although brick-and-mortar retailers in the country are still struggling with subdued growth as consumers migrate online, Nielsen said convenience stores located around urban neighbourhoods were star performers with 9 per cent year on year growth in sales revenues for the last quarter. Geographic proximity and short check-out queues are key reasons why busy consumers continue to visit the likes of 7-Eleven rather than hypermarkets such Walmart stores.

Meanwhile, 37 per cent of respondents surveyed by Nielsen said they had plans to go on vacation in 2016, compared with 34 per cent who said the same a year ago. A combined 91 per cent of those who opted to travel to Hong Kong for their holidays said they were coming to the city for its food or culture, rather than shopping.

Live concerts are also gaining popularity in China’s first tier cities, with 57 per cent of residents there having such experiences. That is a higher percentage than similar surveys in America, Nielsen said.

But the vast majority, or 86 per cent, of Chinese consumers still consider watching movies, instead of music or sports, as their main activity for entertainment, the report said.