China's economy may be slowing but there's no "Age of Extinction" when it comes to the consumer story in the mainland, says Morgan Stanley, referring to the latest Transformers movie which has broken Chinese box office records since opening last Friday.
On its opening weekend, the film grossed over $96 million - accounting for one-third of the $301 million in global box office revenue.
The takeaway here is that growth in mass market consumer spending is proving resilient in the face of a property market slump, the bank said.
The downturn in China's real estate market - which accounts for over 15 percent of economic output and supports some 40 other industries - has not been a major setback to consumer confidence thus far. The risk, however, is that a deeper slowdown could lead to negative wealth effects and hurt consumer spending.
"Continued rapid growth in China's consumer and services sectors is the key to ensuring overall resilience in the macro-economy in the face of property market weakness and a slowing in associated components of investment spending," Laura Wang and Jonathan Garner, strategists at Morgan Stanley, wrote in a report.
The Transformers series box office pays witness to how Chinese consumers' spending power has evolved over the past seven years, the bank pointed out.