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Chinese households save more than U.S.

The U.S. may still boast a larger economy than No. 2 China, but there's one area of financial measure where the communist state now dominates: family savings.

Considering the recent U.S. debt crisis, the idea that China trumps the U.S. on household fiscal responsibility may not come as a surprise, but researchers from the University of Missouri found urban Chinese households save much more than American equivalents - the reason being motivation.

"In the U.S., unemployment insurance and other welfare programs provide a relatively sound safety net, whereas in China, there are no such social welfare programs," said Rui Yao, an assistant professor of personal financial planning at UM. "As a result, Chinese households must resort to family support or previous savings in the case of an emergency."

Yao added that China's cultural adherence to Confucianism places a high value on education, which households were recently levied with greater responsibility to afford.

However, consumerism remains one of the top sectors in the U.S. economy, accounting for more than two-thirds of output and pointing out the country's reliance on strong spending activity over saving.