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Feature: Young worker, simple life

06-29-2010 14:09 BJT

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Although China's economy has been developing at a rapid pace, the income levels of China's ordinary residents, are still lagging behind. Our reporter Guan Xin takes a look at the life of Beijing's ordinary residents to find out if their income levels are on par with the rising living costs.

China is a country with fast-growing wealth. However, prosperity in major cities doesn't the whole story about China's middle class.

Li Shanshan is a typical middle class worker. Li graduated from a good university in Beijing, and is now working for IBM. Her income is about the city's average, but she can only afford a simple life. She's forced to calculate every purchase, including daily necessities.

Li Shanshan, Beijing said "I live under a tight budget, I have record all my purchases the notebook. Even that, sometimes there are still expenditures I cannot afford, so I applied for a credit card, and pay it back next month."

She lives in this old apartment, but the rental fees are still a big expenditure for her. To save on costs, she splits the rent with a room mate. Her salary, at several thousand yuan, means living alone in a rented apartment is unrealistic, and buying a home is far beyond reach.

This is the way most Chinese fresh graduates are living, usually they share apartment with friends, and manage every single expenditure carefully. Obviously their consumption ability is restricted.

Economists say the low income levels of ordinary Chinese workers, is a big hurdle to stimulate consumption. Professor Bai Chongen from Tsinghua University explains why this structural problem is unsustainable and needs to change.

Increasing ordinary people's income is not only meant to balance the country's economic growth structure. More importantly, experts say it allows ordinary Chinese people to enjoy a larger share of the fruit of the country's amazing economic growth.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source:

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