The survey evidence appears unambiguous: optimism among affluent and HNW Chinese citizens, as judged by their luxury spending, has fallen significantly in 2023.
It appears that the wealthiest people's ability to shrug off economic shocks isn’t as strong as it might once have been. A barometer of confidence among Chinese high net worth individuals shows a sharp fall in optimism.
Monthly tracking data from Agility Research shows that after a rebound in confidence at the start of 2023, there has been a steady decline in optimism from around April onwards.
With a sample of 2,000 affluent individuals, including more than 600 HNW individuals (those with $1 million or more in investable wealth), the TrendLens™ 2023-24 programme gives a detailed look at Chinese luxury consumers.
Poor investment performance has contributed to the optimism decline, the report said.
Chinese HNW individuals’ confidence in their real estate and financial investments has dropped by 27 points, from February to April to the most recent three-month period of July to September. They are now less bullish about their investments than affluent consumers – the first time that they have registered such a situation since the organisation began tracking data in 2016.
While the shift is being felt in the larger Tier 1 and 2 cities, by far the sharpest drop-offs have been in China’s lower-tier cities, where sentiment is significantly downwards this year, the report said.