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China's luxury consumer price index falls for 1st time in 8 years

07/29/2015| 4:14:18 PM|

The Hurun Luxury Consumer Price Index, an annual study that gauges levels of top-end individual spending in China, has contracted for the first time in eight years.

The Hurun Luxury Consumer Price Index, an annual study that gauges levels of top-end individual spending in China, has contracted for the first time in eight years.

Rupert Hoogewerf publisher of the Hurun Report magazine

The LCPI 2015 dropped 1.8 percent year-on-year, said wealth researcher The Hurun Report which compiles the study, due to price declines in luxury properties, overseas trips and products. The study looked at 11 different categories of products.

The result contrasts with the recently released Consumer Price Index by the National Bureau of Statistics, which showed an increase of 1.4 percent in June.

According to the Hurun index, yachts and private jets witnessed the largest price drops, an average of 10.5 percent this year, as a result of foreign exchange differences.

It said the price for an Italian-made Azimut yacht, for example, dropped from 110 million yuan ($17.7 million) last year to 86.5 million yuan.

Gulfstream G550 airplanes have also dropped in price by 5 percent this year.

Luxury trips showed the second-largest fall in prices this year, by 5.7 percent on average, as a direct result of the appreciation in the renminbi.

The Japanese yen, it said, depreciated the most significantly by 21.9 percent by the end of June, while the Australian dollar and the euro depreciated by 18.5 percent and 18.3 percent respectively.

China's largest online travel agency Ctrip.com.cn said that as Japan's currency weakened against the yuan, it has grown in popularity with a growing number of Chinese travelers, and now predicts numbers to increase 100 percent over the summer holiday season.

The central government's crackdown on extravagance and corruption has also resulted in a continuous price drop for other luxury products.

Patek Philippe watches and jewelry, meanwhile, dropped in price by 3.6 percent on average, while the price of imported wines and spirits from Hennessey has fallen by 5.2 percent.

Rupert Hoogewerf, founder and chief researcher of Hurun Report, said, however, that "Chinese consumers remain willing to buy luxury products with the increasing popularity of traveling overseas and enhanced information transparency.

"To boost domestic consumption, luxury brands such as Patek Philippe and Chanel have lowered their prices in China, which has exerted a huge impact on Chinese luxury industry."

Luxury properties, according to the report, saw price drops of 1.9 percent year-on-year till date this year.

Except in Shenzhen, Guandong province, which saw the average luxury housing price surge by 30 percent this year, most second-tier cities such as Hangzhou, Nanjing and Chengdu witnessed a minimum of 10 percent decline in the prices of luxury homes.

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TAGS: Hurun luxury consumer price index | luxury market | Chinese spending
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