Lowest Since August 2013

The MNI China Consumer Indicator fell for the second consecutive month in February to the lowest level for six months, led by a decline in consumers’ optimism about their current personal finances.

The decline in the Consumer Indicator to 91.5 in February from 95.1 in January, the lowest reading since August 2013, may well have been due to the recent concerns about the shadow banking system and especially the default of Wealth Management Products.

Both current conditions and future expectations fell in February, with the latter showing a larger decline.

The Current Personal Finances Indicator fell 4.8% on the month and posted the lowest reading since September.

The Current Business Conditions Indicator fell 1.4% on the month in February, the second consecutive monthly decline and the lowest reading since September.

The Employment Outlook Indicator fell for the second consecutive month, down from the one and half year high seen in December.

In spite of the latest fall in sentiment, the Real Estate Investment Indicator rose for the second consecutive month to the highest since June 2012. Also, the Car Purchase Indicator increased in February, as more consumers see the next 12 months as a good time to buy a car.

Commenting on the data, Chief Economist for MNI Indicators Philip Uglow said, “Chinese consumers seemingly underwent a reality check in February as sentiment fell to the lowest for six months.”

“It’s too early to tell if this latest fall is the start of a new downward trend, but weaker growth and concerns over the financial sector are weighing down on confidence.” he added.