Living Standards Improving in China

China's per capita gross domestic production (GDP) is expected to top US$800 by the end of the year, statistics show.

After China's GDP increased by three times in 1995 from 1980, the per capita GDP also jumped three times in 1997, three years earlier than the Ninth Five-Year Plan had predicted.

Statistics show the growth rates of urban and rural citizens' annual income was 5.6 percent and 5.4 percent respectively. The urban per capita income hit 5,854 yuan (US$705.30) while farmers' average per capita net income reached 2,210 yuan (US$243.49) last year.

Consumption rose notably with more money spent on housing and people owning more savings deposits, foreign exchange deposits, stocks and other financial assets.

The consumption structure changed remarkably with reduced money on basic daily necessities and increased spending on housing, communication, medical insurance, education and entertainment.

The Engel Index in China's urban areas went down from 49.9 percent in 1995 to 41.9 percent in 1999. While the Index in rural areas decreased from 58.6 percent to 52.6 percent.

The index, representing the ratio of expenditure on food against the whole expenditure reflects the changes of people's consumption patterns. Experts here predict the urban and rural Engel index will continue to drop respectively to 40 percent and 50 percent by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, living conditions and the consumption of durable goods has increased as well. For example, owning a car was still a dream to many families years ago. But not today.

Along with the improvement of the living standard of people in urban areas, their cultural life is also greatly enriched. Consumption on traveling has been boosted by extended public holidays such as the Labor Day holiday in May and the week long National Day holiday which starts on October 1.


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SSB Forecasts 8.1% Growth for China's GDP



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