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Chinese are top buyers of luxury goods

The Chinese remain the most enthusiastic luxury shoppers around the world.

Their purchases made up 47 per cent of the global luxury sales last year, an industry report showed.

Chinese consumers played a key role in sustaining the growth of the global luxury market, which grew by 11 per cent year-on-year to US$217 billion (S$275b) last year, the Global Times newspaper reported, quoting Fortune Character magazine.

A report published by consultancy Bain & Company in December had said Chinese purchases made up 29 per cent of the global luxury market last year.

Friday's report put the consumption of luxury goods in China last year at 28 billion yuan (S$5.8b), up about 3 per cent from a year earlier, while luxury goods bought abroad reached US$74 billion.

Chinese shoppers did 73 per cent of their luxury shopping abroad last year, up 8 per cent from a year earlier, a luxury industry expert with the magazine said.

Ms Ding Juan, 30, a white-collar worker in Guangzhou, travelled to Italy during the Spring Festival holidays.

She told the Global Times: "Many luxury stores, especially local brands such as Prada and Ferragamo, were crowded with Chinese, and you could easily find shop assistants who speak Chinese."