China's consumer confidence index rose in the April-June period for the fifth quarter in a row, boosted by a growing willingness in the countryside to spend as incomes rise, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.
The index rose to 109 from 108 in the first quarter.
The survey results show consumer confidence has been rising since the second quarter last year, based on people's optimistic judgment of the macro economic outlook, the NBS and Nielsen, which conducted a joint survey of 3,500 people, said in a statement.
In contrast to growing confidence in rural China, urban residents were less optimistic last quarter, the survey found.
As a result of intensified efforts to cool the property sector since April, respondents in major cities expecting property prices to fall outnumbered those anticipating a further rise, the survey found.
Sixty-eight percent of respondents expected the employment outlook to improve, down from 71 percent in the previous survey, but an unchanged 67 percent of those surveyed were optimistic about their income prospects over the next 12 months.
Chen Quansheng, an adviser to the State Council, China's cabinet, said at a news conference to release the survey results that he expected consumer inflation to accelerate in the next few months due to higher food prices.
Food makes up a third of China's consumer price index, which rose 3.3 percent in the year to July, up from 2.9 percent in the 12 months to June.
(Reporting by Langi Chiang and Alan Wheatley; Editing by Ken Wills)