Consumers give boost to economy during Spring Festival
Lunar New Year buying spree showed buyers’ important role in supporting growth, experts say
Chinese consumers indulged during the Spring Festival holiday not only with things like duty-free goods, jewelry, and health-related products, but also with experiences like travel and entertainment, through the optimization of COVID-19 prevention and control measures, industry experts said.
They added that China’s consumer market, which plays a fundamental role in supporting the country’s economic growth, is expected to gain momentum this year, as the consumer boom during the Lunar New Year holiday week highlighted the enormous vitality and strong resilience of the national economy.
Statistics from the Department of Commerce of Hainan Province (south) showed that total sales of the 12 offshore duty-free malls on the tropical island reached 1.69 billion yuan ($249.1 million) between the January 21 and 25, an increase of 20.03 percent over the first five days of the Spring Festival holiday last year.
Chinese e-commerce platform JD reported that between January 21 and 25, the revenue of rabbit-themed jewelry increased more than tenfold compared to the last Spring Festival, while the volume of transactions of pre-cooked meals was multiplied by six.
Immune-boosting and health-related nutritional products are increasingly popular with Chinese buyers, with the turnover of liquid amino acids and protein powder increasing by 215% and 70% respectively. one year to the next.
While global economic growth is expected to decline from around 3% in 2022 to 1.9% this year, China’s growth is expected to improve moderately, according to a report released by the United Nations on Wednesday.
With the adjustment of anti-COVID policies at the end of 2022 and the easing of monetary and fiscal policies, China’s economic growth is expected to reach 4.8 percent in 2023, according to the report.
China’s GDP grew 3 percent year-on-year in 2022 to 121.02 trillion yuan, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Consumption contributed 32.8 percent of China’s economic growth last year, driving GDP growth of 1.0 percentage point.
Analysts said the Spring Festival spending is a barometer of China’s consumption vitality, and said the consumption recovery is expected to become the main force driving China’s economic rebound in 2023.
“Spring Festival is the most important traditional festival for Chinese people, and it is also a peak season for consumption,” said Bai Ming, deputy director of international market research at the Academy. Chinese international trade and economic cooperation.
China’s consumer market saw a “resumption of growth” during the holiday, marking the vitality of domestic consumption and the restoration of consumer confidence, thanks to optimized COVID-19 control measures, it said. he advanced.
The domestic tourism market also saw a robust recovery during the holidays. According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1 percent year-on-year. This number is about 88.6% of that of 2019.
Cinemas welcomed throngs of moviegoers as the country’s box office receipts for the holiday topped 6.5 billion yuan as of 4 p.m. Friday, data from the Maoyan website showed.
Chinese shoppers gave in to their pent-up urge to buy during the Spring Festival, and their level of consumption almost returned to pre-pandemic levels, said Pan Helin, co-director of the Economics Research Center. technology and financial innovation at the School of International Business of Zhejiang University.
Wu Chaoming, deputy director of the Chasing International Economic Institute, said continued optimization of COVID-19 control policies will greatly boost consumption growth and strengthen people’s appetite to travel and spend this year. .