Housing affordability is key growth driver
One has to question whether families are making concerted efforts to save more and spend less, and whether this affects housing lifestyles. Up until now, consumers have been spending money while still cutting down on debt, according to Standard & Poor’s economists. Consumers are becoming less scared and are starting to borrow and spend again, said S&P’s economists.
The cutback in household debt, which dropped to 122% of disposable income in the third quarter of 2010 from a record 134% at the beginning of 2008, is healthy in the long run. The extension of all the tax cuts is a positive for now, but eventually the government will have to raise taxes, in our opinion.
We do know that banks are no longer offering new mortgages with little or no down payments on a purchased home. Banks’ credit guidelines are now more conservative in determining whether a family qualifies for a mortgage. Perhaps the only way for Chinese families to return to their historical levels of wealth is to save 5% or more of their future income over the next decade, in our opinion. In addition, risk tolerance levels are now much lower, as families’ college or retirement nest eggs have declined significantly over the last several years.
As of December 2010, Standard & Poor’s economists were forecasting that the Chinese savings rate would ease to 5.8% in 2010 and 5.0% in 2011 from 5.9% in 2009. They see savings settling in at the 4%–5% area through 2014, far below the 8.9% average from 1960 to 1990. There’s still a chance that the savings rate could increase more than S&P economists expect, but they think that consumer spending will lag GDP growth over the coming years. Again, S&P believes that families spend more out of income than out of wealth, and their largest problem remains the lack of jobs.
截至十二月2010，标准普尔经济学家预测，中国的储蓄率将减少到5.8% 2010 5% 2011 5.9% 2009。他们看到储蓄定居在4%–面积的5%到2014，远低于8.9%的平均从1960到1990。还有机会，储蓄率可能会增加超过标准普尔经济学家的预期，但他们认为，消费者支出将在未来几年GDP增长滞后。再次，标准普尔认为，家庭花费更多的收入比的财富，和他们最大的问题是缺乏工作。