Consumer sentiment nudged up in China in January, as an improvement in the outlook for personal finances offset downbeat expectations for business conditions, a survey showed Wednesday.
The Westpac China Consumer Sentiment Indicator rose to 114.9 this month, up from 113.7 in December and the highest level since September, with the survey suggesting that the sharp fall in share prices had no material impact on overall consumer confidence.
Three of the five components that make up the index rose, including expectations for business conditions in five years' time and expectations for personal finances. Survey respondents - consumers across 30 Chinese cities ranging from tier 1 to tier 3 - were more pessimistic about business conditions in one year's time.
"The survey again highlights that, for China's consumers, equity and broader financial market swings are less important for their direct impact on personal finances than the implied message about prospects for the economy," Westpac senior economist Matthew Hassan said.
"The first read for 2016 shows a stable but subdued consumer mood, with slightly more positive attitudes towards housing and durable purchases."