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April 8, 2011

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Inflation blues for locals

MORE than 40 percent of Shanghai residents are unsatisfied with their lives as they are having to spent more and more on everyday necessities, a survey has found.

Unrelenting price hikes for basics - meaning less cash for leisure - are leaving city residents fed-up, Shanghai Statistics Bureau said yesterday.

The survey also found almost 90 percent of local residents are planning to spend more on food and other living expenses, anticipating no let up in inflation.

The findings were compiled from questionnaires completed online by 1,062 Shanghai residents, reflecting a span of age and income groups.

Some 42.4 percent of respondents said they are "unsatisfied" with their current lives while 37.6 percent described their lives as "just so so."

Bureau experts concluded that a disappointing income status and cost of living pressures are the main reasons for dissatisfaction. The survey found that most who reported their lives as unsatisfactory come from low to moderate income families.

"These families failed to see their incomes improve in the past two years due to the influence of the global financial recession," analysts said in their report. "At the same time, successive domestic CPI rises have increased their daily expenditure. For such families, their actual income level has dropped."

Unable to improve their economic standing, many of these people are unhappy with their lot, said the bureau.

"This finding merits key attention from the government," analysts said, suggesting more needs to be done to relieve intensifying living cost pressures.

The survey also showed 87.1 percent of locals are expecting to spend a bigger proportion of their budget on necessities this year. Some 80.8 percent predicted that life would continue to become more expensive - especially the cost of food.

From a choice of eight major daily spending items, 88.9 percent said they would expect a greater outlay on food.

Clothing budget ranked the second, followed by health care, according to the survey.

Food prices were up 11 percent in February in China.

While almost 13 percent of those surveyed said they didn't plan to raise daily spending, the reason provided by most was that they simply couldn't afford to.


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