China - one of the world's fastest growing economies in recent years - has not been immune to the recession sweeping the global economy. Its export-driven economy has slowed, and unemployment is growing. The Chinese government has introduced a stimulus package and is encouraging citizens to spend more. But whether they actually do so may require a change in cultural dynamics. Without the social safety net of Western countries, the average Chinese family saves about 30 percent of its income (most American families save almost nothing).
How China shifts from an export model to one driven by internal growth is the subject of a new article from Nielsen Vice Chair Susan Whiting. According to Nielsen's most recent Global Consumer Confidence Survey, nearly three-quarters of Chinese consumers are optimistic that their country is not in a recession, and China's Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) of 96 has remained relatively stable since 2006, well above the CCI global average of 84. The article outlines the challenges facing China both at home and abroad as it seeks to re-invigorate its economy.
Click here to read the full article in February's Consumer Insight magazine.