Shanghai and Beijing have led per capita consumer spending nationwide in the first half of the year at 23,644 yuan ($3,646) and 21,564 yuan, respectively, according to the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.
Chinese per capita nominal consumer spending grew 18 percent to 11,471 yuan on a yearly basis in the first half of the year, statistics showed. After deducting price factors, spending increased 17.4 percent year-on-year.
Besides Shanghai and Beijing, seven other provinces and municipalities, including Zhejiang, Tianjin, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Fujian, Chongqing and Hubei, have all registered higher consumer spending than the national average.
The high spending of Shanghai and Beijing can be attributed to the higher per capita disposable income of the two cities, said Su Jian, an economist at the School of Economics of Peking University, during an interview with news portal jwview app.
"Wide varieties of consumer goods, as well as a well-developed service industry, can meet the diverse needs of residents in these cities," he said.
Food and wine comprised the largest portion of per capita consumer spending in the first half of the year, reaching 3,536 yuan, accounting for 30.8 percent of total spending, the jwview app reported. The cost of living was the second largest per capita spending sector, which was 2,649 yuan, taking up 23.1 percent of all spending sectors, the report said.
Notably, spending on education, culture and entertainment remained the fastest-growing area in per capita expenditures, with an increase of 68.5 percent year-on-year, far more than other sectors.
Pan Helin, an expert in economics at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, said as the pandemic has come under control, China's consumer sector is set to increase continuously with constant upgrading in the area of high-end consumption. The consumption potential for third- and fourth-tier cities will be further unleashed with the improvement of the economy, he said.