SHANGHAI: Consumer confidence levels are continuing to improve in China, according to a new report.

The Nielsen Company partnered with the China Economic Monitoring and Analysis Centre and the National Bureau of Statistics to conduct a survey of 3,500 people in the country.

According to this poll, the overall index, which is based on respondents' views on their economic and job prospects, and their planned spending patterns, climbed 16 points, to 104 points, in the last nine months.

Some 63% of participants were in positive mood regarding the condition of the domestic employment market, with a similar number being optimistic about their personal financial situation.

Mitch Barns, Greater China president of The Nielsen Company, added "Chinese consumers' willingness to spend has increased, and the latest survey suggests that consumers have continued to regain their optimism about the economic future."

"This ... presents great opportunities for those businesses looking to drive more demand for their brands, especially during the upcoming Chinese New Year season."

More specifically, the technology category has seen a particular uptick in interest, with the growth of the internet audience, now estimated to stand at 338 million people, being a major contributor to this trend.

Some 88 million Chinese netizens have bought goods online, with around two-thirds of this group making such an acquisition within the last month.

"For many businesses, there is a great opportunity to increase their use of new media in order to drive faster growth in consumer demand for their brands," Barns continued.

Despite this, a majority of shoppers still regard saving money as being a high priority, with investing in their children's education, and buying new clothing, among other key areas of expenditure.

Residents in "tier one" cities, and their counterparts in "tier five" markets – namely, smaller towns, villages and rural areas – recorded the most dramatic growth in confidence in the last three quarters, the study found.

Data sourced from Asia Media Journal; additional content by Warc staff