BEIJING: Around 20% of Chinese consumers aged 18–34 felt they were worse off in the final quarter of last year than the same period in 2007, and plan to decrease their spending on groceries, but a slightly greater number remain more optimstic.

Figures from BIGresearch's "China Quarterly Survey" show that 23.2% of 18–34 year olds in China saw themselves as worse off in Q4 2008 compared with the year-ago period, a figure rising from 13.4% in the first three months of the year.

By contrast, while 28% of the survey's 4,328 participants said they were better off in the final three months of 2008, this total was down from just under 45% recorded in the first quarter.

Confidence levels in the Chinese economy also plummeted from  74.3% in March 2008 to 47.4% by the end of the year, with a decline of almost 13% on this measure between Q3 and Q4 alone.

As a result, the number of consumers who said they want to spend less on groceries has risen to almost 20%, while the number planning to spend more has fallen from 25.8% in Q1 2008 to 21.6% in the final three months of the year.

Data sourced from BIGresearch; additional content by WARC staff