China accounts for about 12% of the world’s consumption of luxury goods,…

….but only 2% of those purchases are made within the country. Most purchases are made abroad by Chinese tourists.

merril linchChina is the fastest growing market for the consumption of self-indulgent goods and services aimed at enhancing one’s appearance or status. According to a research note from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, China leads the world growth in the category of so-called “vanity capital,” which includes spending on jewelry, cars, jets, make up, and health supplements, as well as private schools, ivy league universities, and clubs.

The market grew an average of about 15.6% a year for the past five years in Greater China, which includes mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan:

(Source: and Bank of America Merrill Linch)

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