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Behaviour change of Chinese consumers can significantly affect the global market

Behaviour change of Chinese consumers can significantly affect the global market
According to the published information, the American luxury brand Tiffany also had to deal with this trend in the past time periods. We can only guess how much was the management influenced by these trends when they agreed with the acquisition by French giant LVMH.

Based on IMF estimates, the Chinese economy is expected to reach the trade deficit in the next two years. In spite of the fact that since 2001 China has been proud of its trade surplus, it started to gradually decline after the financial crisis in 2008. Currently it’s moving close to zero.

The main reason regarding this evolution is probably a sharp increase in international tourism of Chinese residents thanks to the increasing wealth of the middle class. According to the available sources, the volume of Chinese poeple travelling abroad increased from 42 to 162 millions between 2008 and 2018, which represents a growth of around 252 percent. The consequence of this trend generated the deficit of 250 billions USD last year.

Another fact that cannot be overlooked is that China is currently the largest goods exporter in the world. The proportion of its export on total world export reached almost 13 % in 2017, according to World Trade Organization. For a comparison, it was only 4 % in 2001. But the salaries, that grew gradually, could not follow the actual growth of increasing export pace and caused sharp increase of household savings. Based on data from OECD, saving increased from 28.2 % in 2000 to 39 % in 2010 and still stay relatively high. But Chinese population is aging and this leads to the trend that people start spending more than they earn and consequently push the savings levels downwards. The last figure of savings was 36.1 percent, in 2016.

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The deficit can also be found in the services sector and surpluses are gradually decreasing in the sector of goods trading, too.

IMF expectations in connection with Chinese economy tend towards the situation, that the country should have a moderate trade deficit in the next two years. This can affect also the global economy that is currently in „recession pending “state. It’s probable that the number of Chinese tourists abroad will also decline together with the reduction of Chinese savings. That will cause a significant cut of capital flow to other countries – including the USA.

In its report of global economy outlook, IMF subsequently decreased Chinese economy growth estimation for 2020 from original 6.6 percent in previous year to 5.8 percent. 

China ‘s public debt significantly grew over the last years as well and is currently the highest in the past 25 years. Although it was moving around 33.7 % of GDP in 2010, data from 2018 show approximately 50.50 % of GDP in 2018.

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