Is China’s debt burden too much to bear?
BEIJING — Demand for consumer loans is picking up in China, especially among the less affluent, highlighting a group that some say could use more support during the coronavirus-induced economic downturn.
The disease, officially called Covid-19, emerged late last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The virus has since spread rapidly around the world, killing more than 183,000 people, including over 4,600 in China.
Official and third-party data show that China’s poorest households are the hardest hit. In the first quarter, prices rose more in rural areas than cities. But spending dropped off less as necessities consumed a greater proportion of incomes. For migrant workers who still had jobs, the average monthly salary dropped nearly 8%…