China’s economy surged ahead of its expected target for growth in 2009, putting it on course to knock Japan off the second spot in the world economy league table.
Gross domestic product in China put on a last-dash sprint in the fourth quarter, growing 10.7 per cent between October and December.
That leap at the end of the year was the fastest quarterly growth in China for two years, taking annual expansion for the year to 8.7 per cent.
An increasing chunk of that production headed overseas – with exports rocketing by nearly 18 per cent.
And with the growth has come an explosion in personal wealth among an elite in China. And that, says a new report, could soon make it the world’s biggest luxury goods market.
Vincent Lui, from the Boston Consulting Group that carried out the research said: “Right now Chinese consumers are relatively younger than most of the clients luxury companies have in other places. Many people have increasing income so, you know, yesterday they couldn’t afford the luxury products, but one, two, three years down the road, they will have the means to afford the interest and demand for that product.”
Big cities like Shanghai and Beijing are now on a par with New York as far as luxury goods outlets are concerned.
But the report warns that competition will remain tough, because Chinese consumers do not necessarily remain loyal to one brand.