Urban, rural spending power gap widens: study
By Ted Chen, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The gap in personal consumption power between urban and rural Taiwan is widening, with Taipei possessing more than three times the disposable income as rural Taitung County (台東縣) according to a study released by Fu Jen Catholic University (輔仁大學).
January 23, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
The top five ranking cities for personal consumption power in 2013 are predicted to be Taipei, Hsinchu City (新竹市), Hsinchu County (新竹縣), Keelung City (基隆市), and Taoyuan County (桃園縣), all situated in Northern Taiwan.
Taipei leads in amount of average yearly disposable income with NT$392,432, while Yunlin County (雲林縣) ranked the lowest with disposable income averaging NT$124,352. Zhongshan District (中山區) leads Taipei in opulence, with disposable incomes averaging around NT$430,000.
The inclusion of Keelung in the top five, with disposable income of NT$257,976, is surprising to some, as it is a city without a significant level of infrastructure investment or concentration of industries.
In terms of cities, the top 50 cities and townships all reside in the five major municipalities and densely developed regions, signifying the widening of the urban-rural gap.
The study indicated that while residents of Northern Taiwan enjoy higher wages, their disposable income is offset by higher prices.
According to the study's forecasts, Taiwan's city consumption power will reach NT$5.6123 trillion this year, up NT$76 billion from 2012.
However, this year's growth of 1.36 percent in consumption power will represent the lowest in the past two years in contrast to growth of 3.15 and 1.38 percent in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
The study concluded that overall, Taiwan's consumers are optimistic about the economy as consumption levels remain relatively steady.
Nevertheless, the government's lopsided resource allocation favoring the North may impede overall economic growth in the long run.