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Consumer Spending Slows down in First 6 Months: NBS

In the first half of this year, Chinese urban residents' income maintained fast growth, while the growth of consumer spending slowed down due to the outbreak of SARS.


According to statistics released Tuesday by the National Bureauof Statistics (NBS), urban residents' per capita disposable income was 4,301 yuan (about US$519) for the first half of the year, up 8.4 percent from the same period of last year if price factors were deducted.


The NBS said that in the first six months of the year, salary income was the major part of urban residents' income. In the same period, social security compensation for urban residents increased steadily and their income from private business grew 22 percent year on year.


The NBS said urban residents' consumption was greatly affected by SARS. Consumer spending was 3,110 yuan (about US$376) per capita, increasing 6.2 percent year on year.


The impact of SARS slowed down the growth rate of urban residents' spending from 8.9 percent in the first quarter to 8.7 percent in April and to just 0.6 percent in May. But growth rallied to 3.8 percent in June.


The NBS said that in the first half of the year, the consumer spending on services plunged and spending on such consumer goods as clothes, medical treatment, transportation and entertainment also fluctuated. Urban residents were spending more on non-consumable items than on consumer goods and services.


(Xinhua News Agency July 30, 2003)

First Quarter Spending Increases
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