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More Chinese satisfied despite economic slowdown

By Chen Weihua in Washington (China Daily USA)

Updated: 2015-09-07 05:30:47


News about a Chinese economic slowdown has been all over the place in the past two years, especially in the last few weeks, with the stock and currency markets tumbling.

However, optimism in China's trajectory and favorability of its leadership has long outshone that in the US, as Pew Research Center surveys have repeatedly shown in recent decades.

The latest Gallup poll released on Sept 1 is no exception. While the Chinese economy bounced back from the 2009 economic crisis faster than many other nations', Chinese satisfaction with their household income levels also has been on the rise.

Two-thirds of Chinese (66 percent) in 2014 said they were very or somewhat satisfied with their household income, up from less than half (46 percent) in 2009, and the high of 55 percent in 2008.

The satisfaction rate over income ranged from 46 percent for the poorest 20 percent to 79 percent for the top 20 percent richest.More Chinese satisfied despite economic slowdown

The Gallup report described that as a "remarkable achievement for a nation that just embraced private enterprise and opened its markets to international trade in 1978".

Data from China's National Statistical Bureau showed that per capita disposable income in 2014 grew 8 percent after deducting inflation, faster than the 7 percent growth in 2013 and higher than the GDP growth of 7.4 percent in 2014.

Overall, per capita disposable income in China has increased more than 70 times since the country started its reform and opening-up in 1978.

Before 1978, China was very much an egalitarian society and a planned economy in which prices were largely fixed and people received virtually the same salary year after year. There were no private enterprises.

However, the private economy has been and will continue to be a major driving force for the Chinese economy, Nicholas Lardy, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economy, argues in his book, Markets over Mao: The Rise of Private Business in China.

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