Posted Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, at 10:53 AM
I'm not really sure how reliable Chinese government statistics are, but it's worth noting that their official stats for 2012 released earlier this month show, among other things, a Chinese consumer sector that's growing even faster than the overall Chinese economy:
I think we're supposed to understand those as nominal figures, so mentally adjust for year-on-year rates of CPI increase in the 5-6 percent range for most of the period. Still a very impressive figure. Chinese households, on average, are still badly undersupplied with basic material goods relative to what we're accustomed to in the West, so there should be plenty of running room left for rapid accumulation of appliances, clothing, cars, and motorbikes, etc.