Last year, China experienced a decline in GDP growth, along with a steep drop in consumer sentiment exacerbated by an anti-corruption campaign that dampened the intention to spend in lower-tier cities in particular. This year, although business activity was slow in the first quarter, the economy has shown signs of stabilizing, with improved consumption growth. After dropping to a five-year low in January and February, total retail-sales growth increased in May to 12.5 percent, its fastest pace since December of 2013.
Five years after the onset of the global recession of 2008-2009, the sluggish pace of recovery and worries over employment and financial security continue to weigh heavily on consumer sentiment in developed economies. Consumers remain highly concerned about their jobs, personal finances, and economic future. Yet amid the lingering angst expressed in The Boston Consulting Group's 2013 Global Consumer Sentiment Survey, there are also encouraging signs.