The disposable income of Chinese urban residents in 2008 increased by 7 percent, down about 6 percentage points from last year, due largely to the world economic slowdown, said a newly released report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences today.
The report also shows that the per capita income of rural residents also rose 7 percent, the first time that rural and urban residents have registered a similar increment in personal income in 20 years. In previous years, the income growth rate of urban residents was usually 4 to 5 percentage points higher than that of rural residents.
The lagging income growth occurs under the shadow of the world economic recession, which has further prompted residents to save in the face of rising economic uncertainties.
Li Peilin, head of the Institute of Sociology at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that despite several interest rate cuts by the central bank, household savings continued rising, which has partially hampered domestic consumption.
Economists and experts said further measures should be made to stabilize the property market whose performance would have a direct impact on the financial sector.