In debates about whether growth is a percentage point up or down, we too often lose sight of the absolute scale of China's economy. No matter what rate the country grows at in 2016, its share of the global economy, and of many specific sectors, will be larger than ever.
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.