In 2013, Chinese consumers bought luxury products sold worldwide at an estimated value of US$102 billion, with only US$28 billion being spent on such products sold domestically, about 27% of the total, according to a People’s Daily Online report.
Despite growth in the global luxury goods market diminishing, Chinese consumers made 47% of the global luxury purchases last year, with up to 73% being made overseas. Experts attributed the strong global luxury sales to increasing Chinese spending power and the country’s rapid outbound tourism growth.
However, with the Chinese consumer shopping mentality becoming more mature, overseas luxury goods spending might slow down in the future.
With the number of Chinese traveling abroad continuing to rise, the Chinese are the world’s largest group of buyers in retail markets, particularly at duty-free shops, according to the report.
China has a population of more than 1.3 billion, including about 75 million consumers active in the global luxury goods market. The latter could significantly impact the market with a slight fillip in their spending, said a senior executive at HSBC Bank’s consumer and retail research division.
Consumption of luxury goods is closely related to not only growth in a country’s gross domestic product, but also its financial policy, as well as the development of its social and cultural sectors. For this reason, some wealthy countries are not necessarily spending big on luxury products. In many countries in the West, showing off wealth is considered inappropriate as opposed to it being deemed proper in China, the senior executive added.
The report predicted that by the end of this year, luxury goods sales are expected to touch 117.8 billion yuan (US$19.24 billion), down 2% from 2013. This will be the first drop since the survey was first conducted in 2000.
Read more at Want China Times.