Chinese Consumer Market to Hit $8.8 trillion by 2020; Becomes Second Largest by 2015

China is on course to become the world's second-largest consumer market by 2015, according to Credit Suisse, reports Reuters. Credit Suisse projects that the value of Chinese consumption will hit $8.8 trillion by 2020, fueled partly by a 5% yearly appreciation in the yuan between now and then.

That would take the Chinese currency to 3.9 to the dollar from 7.73 now. By 2015, only the United States will be a bigger consumer market.

Credit Suisse's third China Consumer Survey, based on a 2006 survey of 2,700 respondents in 8 cities found that:

  • Households generally save or invest a quarter of their total income and spend almost the same proportion on food.
  • Consumers between the ages of 20 and 29, who enjoy the most buoyant income growth, tend to splash out more on clothes and entertainment, making them the prime target group for China-bound retailers.
  • The appetite for electronic goods such as digital cameras and mobile phones is waning, while confidence in the quality of local cosmetics is growing.

More Chinese are traveling, with 52 percent of respondents saying they took a flight in 2006 compared with 48 percent in 2005. The survey found that Southeast Asia is losing popularity to Europe and East Asia as a holiday destination.

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