residents’ disposable income levels and income growth. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that in 2017, the per ca
pita disposable income of the high-income group reached 64,934 yuan ($9,604.71). For most of the residents in the high-inco
me group, overseas tours remain as a kind of luxury spending, thus the per capita disposable income for residents that traveled abroad
should be raised to at least 120,000 yuan a year. Yet this group probably numbers less than 100 mil
lion residents. In other words, the number of people who can afford the average cost of going abroad is theoretically less than 100 million.
Although many research institutions are optimistic about the development pr
ospects for Chinese people’s overseas tourism, the growth rate of private outbound trip
s was only 5.7 percent in 2017, compared to 22 percent in 2010 and 10.6 percent in 2015, showing a do
wnward trend. This may actually reflect the decline in the growth rate of disposable income.
I don’t agree with the so-called “consumption downgrade,” as the Engel coefficient – the propor
tion of money spent on food in household expenses – fell to 28.4 in 2018. Yet, the slowdown in consumption growth, increased leverage r
atio in home purchases and other factors have all impeded the pace of the consumption upgrade.