China’s bankcard consumer confidence rises again

Chinese bankcard users continued to spend confidently in December on the back of a stabilizing economy, the Bankcard Consumer Confidence Index (BCCI) showed on Friday.

The BCCI, compiled by Xinhua News Agency and China UnionPay, a national bank card association, increased 0.05 points to 86.68 in December from November, marking a third consecutive monthly rise.

Consumers’ confidence to consume is signaled by a higher reading in the index, which since it was first published in April 2009 has been based on bank card transaction data and analysis of structural changes in urban consumption.

On a year-on-year basis, the index was still down 0.04 points.

Domestic economic situations continued to show a stabilizing trend, which has helped boost consumer confidence, the BCCI report said, citing optimistic December data for the purchasing managers’ index (PMI).

The PMI, which measures factory production in China, was unchanged at 50.6 percent in December, but stayed above the 50-percent point that demarcates expansion from contraction for a third month, official data showed.

The report said the value of transactions recorded at home appliance stores and car showrooms increased from November to December, but that at supermarkets dropped due to higher consumer prices.

The inflation rate accelerated to 2.5 percent in December from 2 percent in November and 1.7 percent in October due to surging food prices amid cold weather, data from National Bureau of Statistics showed on Friday.

Xinhua