Shanghai residents still top of income table

2013-01-26 01:57:55 GMT2013-01-26 09:57:55(Beijing Time)

Shanghai's urban residents, with an average disposable income of 40,188 yuan (US$6,379) last year, earned the most among China's 21 provincial areas that have posted their income growth, according to the latest data.

However, incomes rose more slowly than the national average increase of 12.6 percent and well below the country's fastest rising average income - the 13.5 percent rise, recorded in eastern China's Jiangxi Province.

Shanghai's disposable income for urban residents rose 10.9 percent from a year earlier, but it enabled the city to stay top of the urban income ranking on the Chinese mainland.

It was the only city where people earned more than 40,000 yuan on average last year.

Beijing came second in the disposable income list with 36,469 yuan and Zhejiang Province's 34,550 yuan put it in third place.

However, analysts said Shanghai's higher income would be offset by higher living costs, faster inflation rate and slower economic growth compared to the rest of the country.

Yan Jun, a chief economist at the Shanghai Statistics Bureau, said earlier this week that for the city to manage an income growth faster than its economic growth was a great achievement.

"It reflects that more economic benefits are distributed to ordinary people," Yan told reporters when the statistics bureau announced that the city's gross domestic product grew 7.5 percent last year.

Such growth was weaker than China's average of 7.8 percent and the least among the 21 provinces and municipalities, data showed.

Li Maoyu, an analyst at Changjiang Securities Co, said: "Although Shanghai again won by a big margin, its income growth rate was actually slower than many others. Also, with ever-rising living costs, the city may risk losing charm for some professionals who prefer a relaxed lifestyle to a seemingly high salary."

Shanghai's Consumer Price Index, the main gauge of inflation, expanded 2.8 percent last year, a bit faster than the nation's average of 2.6 percent, according to official statistics.

Many people think it is still difficult to live a comfortable life given inflation and sky-high property prices in major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing.

Earlier this year, Chinese talk show host Cui Yongyuan said on his microblog that a 10,000 yuan monthly salary was not enough to give him a good living in Beijing.

The post triggered an online discussion on how much one should earn to obtain a decent life in China, with most respondents seeming to be dissatisfied with their current income.

Editor: Yu Runze
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