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China Rural-Income Gains Aid Shift Toward Consumption

Chinese incomes rose faster in the countryside than in cities for a third straight year in 2012 as migrant workers boosted their pay and the government strengthened the social safety net.

Rural per-capita net income advanced 10.7 percent, compared with 9.6 percent for urban dwellers, partly on the rise in migrant laborers and their wages, the National Bureau of Statistics said Jan. 18. Rural residents’ income from benefits payments rose 21.9 percent, almost double the urban pace, as the government boosted its budget for health-care handouts.