China’s wage gains have slowed following weaker corporate profits, a trend that may hurt consumer spending as the government seeks to bolster consumption, Bloomberg reported. Average urban income rose an annual 12% the year through September, without adjustments for inflation, compared to 14.4% for 2011 and 13.3% for 2010, according to government figures. Labor ministry data also revealed that minimum wages increased on average 19.4% in the first nine months in 18 provinces. The figures are weaker than nine-month increases of 21.7% in 21 provinces last year and 24% in 30 provinces two years ago. Declining wage gains would stunt measures by China’s new leaders to increase consumer spending and steer the economy away from reliance on foreign investment and exports. Consumption, which covers government and household spending, decreased to 49.1% of GDP in 2009, compared to 59.6% in 2002.
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