Outbreak slams the door on impulsive spending

February 25 15:40 2021

Liu Fan, 25, who works for a construction company in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, used to spend most of her salary on cosmetics, clothes and entertainment each month.

However, the onset of the pandemic meant she had to curb her desire to shop, and instead start saving.

“The pandemic has made me realize the uncertainty of life. Some friends have lost their jobs or had their salaries cut, so I started to save money in case I needed it,” she said.

“In the past, I used to buy things on impulse that I didn’t really need, but now I like to be more rational and purchase items that I truly require.”

The pandemic has reshaped young people’s lifestyles and changed their consumption patterns to some extent.

According to the China Youth Consumption Report 2019-20, after the pandemic emerged, nearly 56 percent of young people surveyed in China have tended to only buy daily necessities. Just over 40 percent chose to “buy less and buy better”, while nearly 40 percent opted to “buy more carefully than before”.

Young people also look to buy items they need and which they can afford.

Just over 45 percent said they would buy green products or those offered with subsidies or discounts, while just 4.3 percent would purchase products that celebrities use, the report found.

Jason Yu, general manager of consultancy Kantar Worldpanel China, said the pandemic has had an impact on young people worldwide, but in China, this group is in a relatively better position.

“For instance, young people in many Western countries face high unemployment rates and usually take low-skilled occupations after graduation, such as working in restaurants or as cleaners. The pandemic has had a severe impact on them and will continue to affect their lives,” he said in Hangzhou China.

In China, GDP exceeded 100 trillion yuan ($15.42 trillion) last year, according to official data.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the country, which last year saw GDP rise by 2.3 percent year-on-year to 101.6 trillion yuan, is expected to be the only major economy to post growth in such challenging times.

Yu said the nation’s effective containment of the outbreak and its economic recovery have given young people confidence.

“Young Chinese have played a leading role in the economic recovery, as they generally still feel confident about the country and the future,” he said.

Yu added that this group has been especially active in boosting the digital economy during the pandemic. Moreover, young people have sought to socialize and pursue “spiritual comfort” online, helping them retain a positive view about life.

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