China is set for a 90% surge in retail spending in the next three years as a burgeoning urban middle class boosts the country’s growing economy.

Retail analyst firm Conlumino’s Retailing in China report said that the findings highlight the massive potential for UK retailers looking to move into the Chinese market. The report found that an increasing urbanisation of the population and changing lifestyles will result in more disposable income being spent in the shops.

The report predicts shopper spend in China to hit £3.513bn by 2018. This would represent an increase of 90% from the present level of £1.85bn, far outstripping the UK’s own retail growth forecasts of 14%.

The research predicts the biggest rise will take place in fashion, with shopper spend at clothing retailers likely to double between now and 2018. Last year Chinese shoppers spent £103bn on clothes.

Global research director Maureen Hinton said: “The growth of the internet and social media have generated global fashion trends and this has made it far easier for international fashion brands to expand. Where once fashion tended to be local this is no longer the case, but brands have to stand out whatever the market theyare in to persuade consumers to buy.”