BEIJING–China’s consumption in the week-long Lunar New Year holiday rebounded higher than pre-Covid-19 levels, according to official data, despite tighter controls to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
China’s major retailers and restaurants recorded 821 billion yuan ($127.12 billion) of revenue in the seven-day holiday that started last Thursday, up 28.7% from last year’s Lunar New Year golden week and 4.9% higher than the 2019 holiday, the Ministry of Commerce said late Wednesday.
Due to a resurgence of coronavirus cases in many Chinese cities, authorities have encouraged citizens to cancel travel plans before and during the Lunar New Year holiday, when typically millions of people go back home to reunite with families. Analysts expect the tighter restrictions may hurt consumption as more people stay put.
China’s box office revenue totaled CNY7.5 billion during the golden week holiday, a new record high, the Ministry of Commerce said. China’s movie theaters were forced to shut down during last year’s Lunar New Year holiday when coronavirus outbreaks swept the country. Box office revenue so far this year topped CNY10 billion, nearly half of 2020’s annual revenue, said the ministry.
Jewelry and clothing stores monitored by the commerce ministry reported 160.8% and 107.1% jumps in sales during the golden week holiday. Sales of fitness equipment at China’s e-commerce platforms also recorded a 49% increase from a year earlier, said the ministry.
Consumer traffic at shopping malls in the 10 biggest Chinese cities during this year’s holiday tripled from a year earlier, but was only 86% of the level recorded in 2019.