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FT Confidential Research

How a Chinese provincial city keeps on spending

Borrowing and rental incomes sustain consumers despite job losses: FTCR

| China

Months after the mines and factories closed, consumer spending is still booming in Yichang. Rising house prices, low urbanization rates and an army of willing lenders are keeping the tills ringing, but there are worries about the future.

To a large extent, the Chinese Communist Party's success will be gauged by its ability to bring sustainable development to cities such as Yichang, in the central Chinese province of Hubei on the Yangtze river. With 1.3 million urban residents, it is the 128th largest city in China, though the population climbs to more than 4 million when those in rural areas are included.

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