Opinion / From the Press

Consumption patterns changing

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-10-12 07:38

Consumption patterns changing

Tourists select cosmetics at Sanya Haitang Bay International Shopping Mall.[Photo by Huang Yiming / China Daily]

According to official statistics, China's tourism income increased to 482 billion yuan ($72 billion) and the sales volume reaped by its retail and catering enterprises amounted to 1.2 trillion yuan during the just-concluded seven-day National Day holiday, an increase of 14.4 percent and 10.7 percent year-on-year.

The steady growth in the domestic consumption market over the past years has resulted in China's economic structure becoming more services-oriented, and personalized, differentiated, diversified and high-end consumption has become ever more popular.

As a result, the service sector is playing an increasingly important role in China's economic growth. In the first half of 2016, final consumption contributed 73.3 percent to the country's GDP growth and the tertiary industry accounted for 54.1 percent of GDP. The growth of services has become particularly obvious with the government accelerating urbanization.

Thus, in its effort to push for the supply-side reform, the country should not ignore the need to boost the fast-growing service sector, given that there is now enormous demand in China for services, such as those services related to education, healthcare and tourism.

As people's incomes are rising, consumers are eschewing cheap and low-end consumer goods or services in favor of healthcare and higher-quality services. This can also explain why the consumption of such fast moving consumer goods as instant noodles and beers has been continually declining in China in recent years while sales of organic food, bottled water and medicines have witnessed a steady rise.

At a time when industrial sectors reliant on resources are having to say farewell to the days of exorbitant profits and when consumption-related sectors are flourishing, the government and enterprises should make the necessary adjustments so as to be prepared for the new era. In a market of 1.3 billion people, those that cater to people's changing demands will be the final winners in the market.

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