BEIJING (Reuters) – Disposable income growth slowed further in China last year while household consumption cooled, as the world’s second-largest economy clocked its weakest pace of expansion since 1990.
Economic growth eased last year as China’s bruising trade war with the United States weighed on businesses and jobs, prompting increased consumer caution despite government measures to stabilize the economy.
Real disposable income per capita rose 5.8% last year, according to data published by the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday, slowing from 6.5% in 2018 and 7.3% in 2017.
Urban households saw their income growth ease to 5.0% from 5.6% a year earlier.
Real consumption per capita was relatively subdued in 2019, slowing to 5.5% from 6.2% a year earlier. Food and living expenses accounted for the biggest portion of consumption, unchanged from a year earlier.
GDP per capita grew 5.7% last year to 70,892 yuan ($10,108.94), easing from 6.1% in 2018.
China’s economy is widely expected to suffer another sharp blow in the first quarter of this year as an outbreak of a novel coronavirus shut businesses and curtailed household consumption, pressuring policymakers to unveil more stimulus measures.
(Reporting by Ryan Woo and Lusha Zhang; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)