China consumer confidence rebounds in March
BEIJING - Chinese consumers' confidence rebounded in March largely due to falling food prices and clearer macroeconomic policies, showed an index released on Saturday.
The Bankcard Consumer Confidence Index (BCCI), compiled by Xinhua News Agency and China UnionPay, a national bank card association, stood at 86.72 in March, up 0.68 points from February.
Compared with the same month last year, the March BCCI figure was down 0.17 points.
The report attributed the rebound in consumer confidence to the slight drop in food prices.
According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, the wholesale price index of agricultural products dipped to 185.4 at the end of March from 186.26 at the beginning of the month.
Meanwhile, consumer spending on non-essential items such as automobiles and tourism gained last month, pushing the index higher, the report said.
In addition, clearer macroeconomic policies also helped boost consumer confidence.
The government had set the full-year inflation target ceiling at 4 percent at the annual legislative session in March.
It also hiked interest rates four times during the past six months, showing its determination to curb inflation.
The measures helped expand domestic demand and counteract impact of high consumer prices, the report said.
Xinhua News Agency and China UnionPay started compiling the BCCI index in April 2009 based on bank card transaction data and analysis of structural changes in urban consumption.