About our data

Definitions:

City tiers:

First-tier cities are defined as Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen

Second-tier cities are defined as the remaining provincial capitals and municipalities: Changchun, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Guiyang, Haikou, Hangzhou, Harbin, Hefei, Hohhot, Jinan, Kunming, Lanzhou, Lhasa, Nanchang, Nanjing, Nanning, Shenyang, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan, Tianjin, Urumqi, Wuhan, Xian, Xining, Yinchuan and Zhengzhou

Third-tier cities are defined as all cities below the provincial capital or municipality level

Regions:

Central region is defined as Anhui, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi and Shanxi

Eastern region is defined as Jiangsu, Shandong, Shanghai and Zhejiang

Northern region is defined as Beijing, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning and Tianjin

Southern region is defined as Fujian, Guangdong and Hainan

Western region is defined as Chongqing, Gansu, Guangxi, Guizhou, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Tibet, Xinjiang and Yunnan


Survey methodology:

Consumer Brands:

A quarterly survey of 2,000 urban consumers in over 100 cities nationwide. The sample is split evenly between first-, second- and third-tier cities; by gender; and according to the following age groups: under 25, 25-29, 30-35, over 35. A quota range is set for each income group.

Prior to 3Q13, the survey included respondents from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, which are classified as 'Other areas'.

The category 'Income group', includes income from stocks, funds and other investments.

Data is available from June 2012-December 2018. The quarterly survey was discontinued in December 2018.

Consumer Sentiment:

A monthly survey of 1,000 urban consumers in over 300 cities nationwide. The sample is split evenly between first-, second- and third-tier cities; by gender; and by the following age-groups: under 25, 25-29, 30-35, over 35. A quota range is set for each income group.

The sample size was expanded from 600 in January 2014.

Data is available from July 2011.

Exports:

A monthly survey of 200 export manufacturers, trading companies and shipping agents nationwide, with each sector accounting for 50%, 30% and 20% of the total sample, respectively. Shipping agents are only asked questions relating to export volume.

Data is available from August 2012.

Freight:

A monthly survey of 200 air, rail, road and waterway logistics companies, with each sector accounting for 2%, 30%, 60% and 8% of the total sample, respectively.

The sample size was expanded from 100 in September 2012.

Data is available from March 2011.

Labour:

A monthly survey of 285 companies across the construction, manufacturing and service sectors, with the sample split evenly between each sector.

The sample size was expanded from 200 in April 2013.

Data is available June 2012 - December 2018. The monthly survey was discontinued in December 2018.

Real estate:

A monthly survey of 300 real estate developer sales agents across 40 cities. The sample is split between first-, second- and third-tier cities according to a 15%, 55% and 30% quota, respectively. The sample is split between central, eastern, northern, southern and western regions according to a 12%, 28%, 20%, 18% and 22% quota, respectively.

Data is available from December 2012.

Underground lending:

A monthly survey of at least 60 underground bankers: registered micro credit firms and unregistered personal lenders with monthly lending volumes of more than Rmb1m. Respondents are based in nine provinces and municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Gungdong, Hubei, Shandong, Shanghai, Shanxi, Sichuan and Zhejiang.

Data is available for April 2013 - November 2017. The monthly survey was discontinued in December 2017.


Calculations:

Respondents who did not answer a question are not included in the frequencies and percentages displayed on the database. This also applies to respondents who answered 'Don't know', or for whom the question was not relevant.

Diffusion indices are calculated by adding the percentage of respondents who gave a positive answer to half the number of people who gave a neutral answer, and dividing this by the total number of respondents, excluding those who answered 'Don't know'. A reading above 50 indicates an increase/improvement.