Woman paying with WeChat Pay in a supermarket in Shanghai. Photo: iStock

The consumption upgrade index for Chinese residents has accelerated to 0.376 in 2018 from 0.341 last year, indicating that consumers are buying more for entertainment and future development, Yicai.com reported.

The consumption upgrade level of Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces continue to lead the country, according to a report co-released by Suning Financial Research Institute and the National Institution for Finance & Development.

Also, the contribution of consumption to GDP has not declined as the decelerating retail sales growth has showed, because data on the latter released by the National Bureau of Statistics failed to cover service consumption, such as education, medical care, culture, art and finance.

The report also pointed out that consumption potential still has room to expand. The expanding income gap, rising housing prices and a lack of high-quality goods and services have discouraged Chinese consumers to further upgrade their buying preference.