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Data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows, in the first three quarters of 2012, consumption contributed to more than 55 percent of economic growth, exceeding that of investment for the first time since 2001.
According to Chen Deming, Minister of the Ministry of Commerce, as of 2012, the contribution rate of consumption to economic growth has increased from 39.6% to about 55% since 2007.
The country's consumer spending has maintained an average year-on-year growth of 14.9 percent since 2000. And the increase rate for retail sales of consumer goods went from 18.1 percent at the end of 2011 to 13.2 percent in August 2012.
Yet China's per capita consumption level was still very low. Its year-on-year growth rate increased 9.8 percent in the first quarter of 2012, from the 8.5 percent average seen since 2003. It was the highest record since the outbreak of the global financial crisis in 2008.
Consulting company McKinsey & Co said although China's purchasing power remains strong, consumers' tastes are changing. Rather than engaging in conspicuous consumption, people are now tending to pursue quality and good shopping experiences.
A survey conducted by Boston Consulting Group Inc suggested that, despite the country's slowing GDP growth, 40 percent of Chinese consumers plan to spend more on "non-mandatory products" by 2013.