Equivalent in population to Los Angeles (13 million in 2016), Guangzhou is fourth largest Chinese metropolis by population, located in the centre of the largest global urban agglomeration (Pearl River Delta). Guangzhou has become more service-focused recently as services' share of GVA rose by six percentage points in 2011-2016. Guangzhou shows strong labour productivity growth (expanding 48% at constant 2016 prices over 2011-2016) - the highest among China's metropolises.
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GVA per employee (a measure of labour productivity) in Guangzhou was 148% above the average in China and the highest among China's metropolises in 2016. The degree level education achieved by 24% of those aged 15+ in Guangzhou explains part of the strong productivity as it was twice the Chinese average in 2016.
The city's elevated labour productivity only partly translates into higher per household disposable incomes, which exceeded the average for the rest of China by 58% in 2016. This is partly due to Guangzhou's lower labour force participation rate (75% versus 81% in China in 2016) and smaller average household size (2.4 versus 3.0 persons) compared with elsewhere in China.
Consumer spending per household (excluding transport and housing) in the city was 72% higher than in China in 2016. Thanks to their higher incomes, households in Guangzhou allocate a smaller share of their budgets to food and non-alcoholic beverages (21% in Guangzhou versus 25% in China in 2016), which leaves them with slightly larger shares to spend on discretionary goods and services such as hotels and restaurants (5.0% versus 3.8%) and recreation and culture (3.8% versus 3.2%).
The combined per household expenditure on housing and transport in Guangzhou was 75% above the level elsewhere in the country in 2016. Transport is proportionally slightly more expensive in Guangzhou (91% more expensive in value terms) absorbing 8.4% of households' budgets, versus 7.6% in China. The budget share allocated to housing is again pretty similar (17%), although the households in Guangzhou spend 67% more money on housing.