“Although China’s economic growth has slowed down to 7.7% in both 2012 and 2013, consumers are far more concerned about things that have a more immediate and direct impact on their quality of life, such as income and cost of living. After all, disposable income is still growing at above 10% and CPI growth has eased to a much lower level compared to 2011. These positive changes will continue to drive consumer confidence in spending, as reflected by a strong year-on-year growth of 13.3% during the 2014 Chinese New Year.
On balance, saving remains an important financial priority for consumers and the idea of spending the money to enjoy life now without thinking about tomorrow is still uncomfortable for many. This means that while consumers are confident about making more purchases, they are still spending within what they can afford and according to their priorities. It is therefore important for businesses to understand where consumers are more likely to allocate their spare money and the differences in their attitudes towards managing their finances.”
Ruyi Xu, Head of Research, China

In this report, we answer the key questions:

  • What do consumers think about their current financial situation and how confident are they about their financial status over the next 12 months?

  • What are the most important factors impacting consumers’ willingness to spend?

  • What are the financial priorities for consumers over the next 12 months?

  • How are consumers going to allocate their spare money and what discretionary spending do they prioritise first?

  • Is there any change to the way consumers think about saving, spending and managing their financial wellbeing under the current economic environment?


This report will use the following definitions when referring to different generations:

Figure 1: Definition of different generations in this report, December 2013
Generation Year they were born Age as in December 2013
90s Born between 1990 and 1993 Aged 20-24
85s Born between 1985 and1989 Aged 25-29
80s Born between 1980 and 1984 Aged 30-34
70s Born between 1970 and 1979 Aged 35-44
60s Born between 1964 and 1969 Aged 45-49

Report structure

The report features four sections (Executive Summary, Economic Conditions and Consumer Finances, The Consumer Research, Key Issues) and an Appendix. The Appendix contains further breakdown of consumer research data by demographics.


For the purposes of this report, Mintel commissioned a quantitative research survey carried out online to explore consumer attitudes towards the economy and issues related to their financial wellbeing.

Fieldwork was conducted in December 2013, in four tier-one cities and six tier-two and three cities of 3,000 adults aged 20-49. The tier-one cities are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu. The tier-two/three cities are Shenyang, Jinan, Kunming, Nanchang, Wenzhou and Nantong.

Figure 2: Interviewing cities for this research, China
[graphic: image 1]

Unless otherwise stated, photographs in this report were taken by Mintel analysts.


CAGR Compound Annual Growth Rate
CNY Chinese New Year
CPI Consumer Price Index
NBS National Bureau of Statistics
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