Though overall consumer sentiment in China fell to an all-time low this year, the wealthy still feel confident about their prospects. As a result, the rich are more inclined to spend in 2022.

A McKinsey survey on Thursday, December 8, released those findings.

This year, China has imposed lockdowns and travel restrictions to control the COVID pandemic. In addition, a property market slump is also dragging down the world’s second-largest economy.

However, the survey found that high-income consumers in China are spending more, rather than less, this year.

Higher-income earners have an annual household income above $49,300 (345,000 yuan).

According to the McKinsey survey, about 26% of these wealthy people said they increased spending by 5% or more from last year.

Only 14% of that income group said they significantly cut their spending, while 60% said their spending was unchanged.

The trend reversed for the lower-middle and lower-income consumers with a household income below $12,200 annually.

About 27% of this poorer group said they scaled back their spending, while 12% said they spent more.

In an explanation, CNBC cited a McKinsey statement saying that the more affluent population in China is more confident about their wealth and prospects.

McKinsey said: “They remain relatively more confident about keeping employed in the future and anticipating salary increases in the future. They also typically already have higher savings.”

“So, the more affluent group continues to spend, while lower-income groups are more hesitant and hold spending decisions.”

The survey indicates that more than half of respondents (54%) believe their household income will increase significantly over the next five years.

McKinsey conducted its survey in July, with the participation of more than 6,700 Chinese consumers.

More households in China are expected to grow wealthier. McKinsey expects the number of urban households in the lower-income category to decline in the next three years while millions more enter a more affluent group.

McKinsey noted that a separate survey in August showed China respondents had far stronger expectations about a post-COVID pandemic economic rebound than consumers in the U.S., UK, or South Korea.

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