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Stocks and homes trim spending

THE rising stock and property markets have squeezed consumer's personal expenditure in the second quarter of this year, a bankcard index showed.

The Bankcard Consumer Confidence Index tracks the transaction figures of bankcard owners in nine major Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

The index dipped to 85.58 in the second quarter from the first quarter's 86.95, Shanghai-based China UnionPay Co, which tracks all yuan-backed bankcard transactions in China, said.

Despite the drop, the second-quarter figure was still higher than the level of 85.31 in the third quarter of 2008 when the global financial crisis broke out.

"The consumption confidence is still on a rising trend despite the dip," China UnionPay said. "The recovering capital market and the rising property market have squeezed consumer expenditure."

Domestic banks have tightened the issuing of credit cards since the beginning of this year as they tried to ward off credit risks amid the fallout of the financial crisis.

The Chinese economy is showing recovery signs in the second half of this year and lenders, including the Bank of China, the Bank of Communications and China Merchants Bank, have launched promotions to raise card-based consumption.

China CITIC Bank, meanwhile, has partnered cinemas, golf clubs, and restaurants to boost bankcard consumption.


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