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Rising inequality imperils China's push for 'quality' growth

Growing wealth gap also breeds public dissatisfaction toward government

China hopes to make consumption, rather than investment, the main driver of economic growth.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- Incomes in China are growing more unequal as rising asset prices have primarily benefited top earners, fueling social resentment and threatening efforts to have consumption take over the role of top economic driver from investment.

China's Gini coefficient, a measure of economic inequality, increased by 0.002 on the year to 0.467 in 2017, the National Bureau of Statistics has said. This is 0.005 more than in 2015, when the measure hit a recent low, having declined since reaching a record of 0.491 in 2008. The coefficient, which ranges between 0 and 1, is now on the rise again, representing widening inequality.

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