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Surveys point to weakness despite holiday distortions

Our proprietary surveys identified continued signs of weakness in the economy ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday, although distortions complicate analysis of data at this time of year. Freight activity slowed significantly, labour demand moderated and home sales fell sharply in the build-up to the holiday period. Nevertheless, discretionary spending growth accelerated ahead of the holiday, while exporters continued to report relatively robust activity.

27 February 2015

Spending up but confidence down in February

Discretionary spending growth accelerated in February, according to our latest survey of 1,000 consumers nationwide, driven by spending ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday. Household income growth also improved during the month. However, respondents continued to report higher cost of living growth, while consumer confidence in the economy fell to its lowest point since August 2013.

27 February 2015

KFC’s popularity falls further as Asian food chains gain ground

Our latest consumer survey provided further evidence of a structural decline in KFC’s popularity in China, with the brand’s popularity falling further and consumers increasingly favouring Asian-style fast-food chains.

24 February 2015

Freight weakness both seasonal and structural

Chinese freight activity weakened significantly on both a MoM and a YoY basis during the first two weeks of February, according to China Confidential’s latest survey of 200 logistics companies. The outlook also weakened ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday.

19 February 2015

Developers report sharper than usual seasonal slowdown

Developers reported deteriorating market conditions in February, with the seasonal slump sharper than in previous years.

18 February 2015

China announces end to temporary residence permits

The move means that rural migrant workers will be able to access urban public services without having to relinquish rural land rights, removing a significant barrier to urban migration.

17 February 2015

Pressure mounts on jewellery market leader Chow Tai Fook

Jewellery market leader Chow Tai Fook is losing its appeal among first-tier-city-based and high-income consumers amid intensifying competition, according to our latest large-scale consumer survey, adding to downward pressure on the company’s sales.

16 February 2015

Shadow finance slows in January

The sum of total social financing (TSF) – the widest official measure of financing in the economy – and our estimation of underground lending reached Rmb2,308bn ($369bn) in January, up 18% MoM but down 19% YoY. This was predominantly due to a slowdown in shadow financing, offsetting a rebound in formal loan growth, although comparisons are complicated by recent changes to loan and deposit classifications by China’s central bank. Informal lending activity moderated ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday.

16 February 2015

Home sales remain weak in run up to Chinese New Year

Home sales data for early February from the 42 cities monitored by China Confidential were distorted by base effects from the Chinese New Year holiday period, but the underlying trend appears to be one of weakening momentum.

12 February 2015

GNC – premium market leader

GNC’s rapid multichannel expansion has enabled it to establish a strong position in China, particularly at the higher end of the nutrition product market.

12 February 2015

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