China’s campaign to rein in credit growth, a move that’s spread panic among the nation’s automobile dealers as they worry about access to financing, is a side-issue for 27-year-old lawyer Kevin Han.
Han is an archetype of Chinese workers who on average sock away 30.6 percent of their disposable income, amounting to 6.9 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) in total household savings in 2012, according to Louis Kuijs, chief China economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in Hong Kong. Han’s breakfast is 5 yuan for a cup of soybean milk and a hardboiled egg or a steamed bun. He has a 20-yuan lunch of white rice, with small portions of meat and vegetables, in the cafeteria at his Beijing workplace. He spends about the same for dinner.
Han gets deals buying clothes online, lives in a cheap rental apartment, and takes the subway to work (4 yuan round-trip). Scrimping is a must if he’s to buy his own place. He says he saves about half his monthly take-home pay of 13,000 yuan. “I want to get married and have a child, which will cost lots of money. My parents are not rich. So I have to save everything by myself.”
China’s leaders want these super savers to open their wallets and strengthen an economy forecast to have expanded by 7.5 percent in the second quarter from a year before, down from 7.7 percent in the previous three months, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.