(Yicai Global) May 24 -- China's consumer confidence index hit a 10-year high of 115 points in the first quarter, driven by employment expectations, personal finances and willingness to spend.
The figure was up one point quarter on quarter, data published today by American researcher Nielsen shows. First-quarter Gross domestic product growth of 6.8 percent on the year helped lay the foundations for a rising CCI, it added.
"As China's economy maintains steady growth, innovation and emerging industries are creating opportunity and improving overall employment expectations," said Nielsen China Vice President Tina Ding. "At the same time, domestic demand becomes the main driver for economic development and continues to be a catalyst behind Chinese consumers' willingness to spend."
Job prospects confidence soared to 77 points in the first quarter, rising three points from the last three months of 2017. Personal finance and willingness to purchase both climbed one point on the quarter to 71 and 62.
Rural areas saw the most significant boost in job prospects, surging to 83 points from 78 three months earlier, and the figure for fourth-tier cities also jumped two points to 71. The rise in job prospects was a contributing factor to the higher buyer demand, the report said.
"China's urbanization has been further advancing alongside the development of the Belt and Road Initiative," Ding added. "It began in coastal areas and eastern city clusters, and then extended to China's mid-west and southeast regions, which has led to the rapid development of a host of low-tier cities. This development has brought new business and industry growth that are creating job opportunities for local markets."
Nielsen's CCI index measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finance and immediate spending intentions. A figure above 100 shows optimism and below indicates pessimism.
Editor: James Boynton