Die Erweckung der chinesischen Verbraucher

PEKING – Letztlich wird es die Geschichte erweisen, doch es gibt gute Gründe für die Annahme, dass das jüngst zuende gegangene 3. Plenum des Zentralkomitees der KPCh einmal als ein entscheidender Moment in der Entwicklung des Landes angesehen werden wird. Endlich hat Chinas oberste Führung ein Reformpaket gebilligt, das den Wandel der Volkswirtschaft von der Exportabhängigkeit zu einem konsumgestützten Wachstum vorantreiben könnte.

Bis jetzt wurde dieser Wandel in Form breit gefasster Ziele abgesteckt. So versprach etwa der im März 2011 verabschiedete 12. Fünfjahresplan die Entwicklung einer konsumorientierten Wirtschaft, die auf den Bausteinen der Urbanisierung und der Entwicklung des embryonischen Dienstleistungssektors beruhte. Ungeachtet der Bedeutung dieser Selbstverpflichtungen dabei, Chinas Mittelschicht neue Möglichkeiten zu eröffnen, fehlte ihnen ein zentrales Element: Anreize für die chinesischen Familien, ihre neu entdeckten Einkünfte für über den Grundbedarf hinausgehende Konsumgüter auszugeben.

Im Gegenteil: Die finanzielle und wirtschaftliche Unsicherheit hat Chinas Haushalte im Griff, seit die „eiserne Reisschale“ – die Unterstützung von der Wiege bis zur Bahre, die der sozialistische Staat Arbeitern und ihren Familien bot – Ende der 1990er Jahre abgeschafft wurde. Aus Furcht vor der Zukunft haben die Haushalte Einnahmesteigerungen bisher gehortet, statt sie für Konsumgüter auszugeben. Die Ökonomen nennen das „Vorsichtssparen“. Die chinesische Führung nannte es frustrierend.

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