Business Standard

Chinese youth is spending like Americans, piling worrisome household debt

Chinese under 30 aren't savers like previous generations. That's helping diversify the economy, but adding to household debt.

Young Chinese are spending like Americans but household debt is rising

Stella Yifan Xie, Shan Li & Julie Wernau | WSJ
Western economists have long said that China needed a base of American-style consumers to bring the country sustained economic growth. Now China has one: Its young people.

While previous generations were frugal savers—a product of their years growing up in a turbulent economy with a weak social safety net—the more than 330 million people born in China between 1990 and 2009 behave much more like Americans, spending avidly on gadgets, entertainment and travel.

The freewheeling consumption is helping China diversify its economy at a crucial time. Beijing has relied on exports and infrastructure-building to drive growth for decades, but recent signs point

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First Published: Aug 30 2019 | 11:08 AM IST

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