Despite the well-publicized slowdown in economic growth, overall consumer sentiment in China can still be described as cautiously optimistic. More precisely, caution characterizes the lower end of the consumer market, while optimism envelops the high end. China, in other words, has become a two-speed consumer market. The optimistic, "high-speed" consumer market disproportionately consists of middle- to upper-middle-class and affluent households. These consumers also make up the bulk of the digital class of active online shoppers.
Chinese and Indian consumers are living well and eating well. And that could spark a global crisis. The consumer boom in China and India will touch off global inflation and could lead to food and water riots if investment, policy and technology don't keep pace.