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Xinhua Silk Road
Economy

Interview: China, a linchpin of global supply chain, consumers spending -- scholar

February 26, 2021


Abstract : Sharp increase in China's retail sales volume during its Lunar New Year week indicates that China has become not only a linchpin of the global supply chain but also a linchpin of global consumers spending, a U.S. scholar has said.

CHICAGO, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Sharp increase in China's retail sales volume during its Lunar New Year week indicates that China has become not only a linchpin of the global supply chain but also a linchpin of global consumers spending, a U.S. scholar has said.

The whole nation of China has enjoyed strong holiday spending, including rural households and tier-3 and tier-4 cities, said Khairy Tourk, professor of economics with the Stuart School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Chinese youth now "represents 25 percent of the country's population but 60 percent of total spending growth." This is the first year ever when China prompted the development of digital yuan, and "there has been a jump in the sale of Chinese brand names, which shows the rise of high quality in Chinese manufacturing," Tourk noted.

"The Chinese middle class has experienced the fastest expansion the world has ever seen," Tourk said. "Its size in 2020 was 400 million, and it is expected to double by the year 2035. Chinese middle class is the largest in the world and (Chinese) consumers keep increasing their spending faster than any other countries in the world."

Private consumption is now the main driver of economic growth in China, with Lunar New Year holiday spending being a barometer of Chinese private consumption, he added. "Given the importance of middle class spending as a major component of private consumption, there is no doubt that China's middle class is holding up world growth."

"The world has a large stake in China's economic growth; (Chinese) economy has become an indispensable part in the world," he said, adding this bodes well for the global economy and world peace, and explains why the idea of decoupling is a non-starter.

According to the International Monetary Fund, China has accounted for 28 percent of all growth worldwide from 2013 to 2018, making it the engine of global economic growth.

Tourk attributed China's ongoing economy success to its effective handling of COVID-19.

"The effective way in which China dealt with the pandemic has been one of the best ways to demonstrate scientific know-how, government competence, and people's trust in the leadership," he said.

Furthermore, "China (is) supplying global public goods in the form of pandemic aid to different countries," and sending medical help to numerous countries. "With developing nations having been extremely wounded by the pandemic, the Chinese manufactured vaccines are practically the only hope for most poor countries to terminate the pandemic," Tourk said.

China has achieved many firsts in 2020, including eradicating poverty, landing spacecraft on the moon, and containing the pandemic. Most importantly, "Chinese economy avoided contraction and China was the only large country with positive GDP growth," he added. Enditem

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Keyword: China economy consumer spending

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