Residents in Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin stood out as the most generous buyers in the first six months of this year.
The latest data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed a 6.7 percent year-on-year real increase in per capita spending across 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government for the first half of 2018.
The top three on the list were Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin, where an average of RMB 21,321, RMB 19,670, and RMB 14,708 respectively was spent during the six-month period. Another five provinces, namely Zhejiang, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Fujian, and Liaoning, had a per capita spending of over RMB 10,000. With the addition of Hubei province and Inner Mongolia autonomous region, a total of ten provincial-level regions beat the RMB 9,609 national average, according to a report by the China News on Tuesday.
Food, drinks and tobacco stood at the top of the consumption list, reaching RMB 2,814 as of the end of June, followed by housing, costing RMB 2,157 per person, and transport and telecommunications, taking RMB 1,286 from each Chinese resident.
Spending on services staged a strong growth for the six-month period, with a 39.3 percent hike in sports and fitness, a 37.8 percent jump in hotels, a 24.6 percent rise in healthcare services, and a 22.8 percent increase in transport.
These higher expenditures were shored up by rising incomes. The NBS reported in mid-July a 6.6 percent increase in the per capita income of Chinese people, which reached RMB 14,063 by the end of June. Shanghai whose residents exhibited the strongest purchasing power also boasted the highest per capita disposable income of RMB 32,612, far above the national median of RMB 12,186 for the first half of the year.
The robust spending had been driving up China's consumer goods market, which saw its total retail sales up by 9.4 percent year-on-year to over RMB 18 trillion at the mid-year mark. Out of this amount, sales on the internet contributed RMB 4.081 trillion, up by 30.1 percent.