激活中国消费者

北京—历史才是终极判官,但我们有很好的理由相信刚刚结束的中共十八大三中全会将是中国发展的一个关键时刻。中国高级领导层最终通过了一揽子驱使中国经济从依赖出口转为消费拉动增长的改革。

到目前为止,这一转型已经有了广泛的目标和方向。比如,2011年3月通过的十二五规划承诺中国经济将进入消费拉动时代,建立在城镇化和方兴未艾的服务部门的发展的基础上。尽管这些承诺的重要性为中国的中产阶级带来了希望,但它们缺少关键要素:激励中国家庭将其新增收入转化为自主消费。

相反,金融和经济的不安全自20世纪90年代末“铁饭碗”——社会主义国家向工人及其家庭提供的从摇篮到坟墓的支持——被打破以来一直困扰着中国家庭。出于对未来的担忧,家庭将新增收入储藏起来,而不是用于购买消费品。经济学家称之为预防性储蓄。中国领导人认为这令人沮丧。

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