Chinese consumers

A tale of two Chinese consumers

Wealthy Chinese will buy increasingly more global luxury brands, while urban commoners' purchasing power is decreasing.
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Sales of luxury goods in China are expected to grow 30% this year
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<div style="text-align: left;"> Sales of luxury goods in China are expected to grow 30% this year </div>

Chinese consumers are a confusing bunch. The appetite for luxury brands among China’s rich remains unquenchable, yet the disposable income of ordinary city dwellers is shrinking in real terms.

Both observations are true. Sales of luxury goods in China are expected to grow 30% this year and, if overseas sales are included, mainland shoppers will spend 26% more in 2012 than last year, according to Mariana Kou, a research associate at CLSA, a Hong Kong-based brokerage.

Chinese people became the biggest single group of tax-free shoppers in the world last year, accounting for 19% of total sales. Mainland shoppers also account for a third of the...

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