China to reduce income gap and promote domestic consumption in 14th FYP period

China has made progress in enhancing people's income in the past five years and will continue to take measures to reduce the income gap and boost domestic consumption in the future 14th Five-Year Plan (FYP) period, according to a press conference held by the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Friday, in Beijing.

To meet people's expectation for a better life, the recommendation of the 14th FYP indicates that more efforts will be made to ensure employment and income growth, as well as preparing for the challenges of an aging population with improved healthcare and elderly care systems, said Ning Jizhe, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, told the media at the press conference.

From 2016 to 2019, China's disposable income per capita has grown 6.5 percent annually by average, Ning said, adding that the ratio of urban income and rural income dropped to 2.64 in 2019, compared with 2.73 in 2015.

Moreover, the indicator indicates that the living standards – Engel coefficient, which is the proportion of income spent on food, has dropped from 30.6 percent in 2016 to 28.2 in 2019, reflecting a consumption upgrading, according to Ning.

China's online consumption revenue stood at 10.6 trillion yuan ($1.58 trillion) in 2019 and reached a new peak this year, he said.

This year under the COVID-19 pandemic, China has made efforts to help recover income and consumption. In the first three quarters of this year, China's disposable income per capita change has shifted from negative to positive territory with 0.6 percent growth, he said.