Retailers ring up record $86b

 Retailers ring up record $86b

Shoppers make purchases at a food store in Shanghai during Spring Festival. On the first four days of the holiday, retail sales in Shanghai reached 1.93 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 10.7 percent. Ding Ting / Xinhua

 

Expertsviewnumbersasevidenceofhigherconsumerconfidence

China’sretailsalessurgedtorecordhighsovertheweek-longSpringFestival, astouristattractionsalsoreportedstrongvisitornumbers.

AccordingtothelatestdatafromtheMinistryofCommerce, totalretailsaleswere 14.7 percentaheadoflastyear, hitting 539 billionyuan ($86 billion) fromlastSaturdaytoFriday.

OnMondayalone, duty-freepurchasesinSanya, thepopulartouristdestinationinthesouthernprovinceofHainan, wereworth 20.73 millionyuan, thefiguresshowed.

Sellersontheislandextendedopeninghoursandexpandedstoresizes, reportingthatsalesofcosmeticsandwatchespricedbetween 5,000 yuanand 8,000 yuanwereespeciallybrisk.

“Spendingduringthebreakremainedrobustthisyear, despitethegovernment’srecentedictcurbingbureaucraticspendingonluxury,” saidDingNingning, aresearcherattheStateCouncil’sDevelopmentResearchCenter.

“Othergovernmentmoves, includinganemphasisonhigherincomes, greatersocialsecuritypaymentsandeffortsaimedatbringingmigrantworkers’ salarieslevelwithothers, haveaddedtoconsumerconfidence.”

DatareleasedonFridaybythecommercedepartmentinthecentralprovinceofHenanshowedthatretailsalesthererose 17.9 percentyear-on-yearto 29.7 billionyuan.

Jewelrysalesrose 31.9 percent, boostedbyValentine’sDaypromotions, butcateringbusinessesreportedonlya 5.3 percentriseinbusiness, areflectionofmorefrugalspendingondining.

BloombergsaidinapollofnineeconomiststhatChina’sretailsaleswerelikelytogrow 15.4 percentduringJanuaryandFebruary, thefastestpacein 13 months, boostedbypromotionaleventsandtheimprovingeconomicoutlook.

Meanwhile, someotherrobustnumbersalsosuggestedgrowingconsumerconfidencesincethestartof 2013.

DatafromtheChinaNationalTourismAdministrationreleasedonFridayshowthat 76 milliontouristsvisited 39 keytourismcitiesduringtheSpringFestivalholiday, up 15 percentfromayearearlier.

Beijingalonepocketed 3.88 billionyuanintourismrevenue, up 15 percentyear-on-year, localofficialssaid, as 8.68 milliontouristsvisitedthecapital, anincreaseof 7.5 percentyear-on-year. Toll-freeexpresswaysduringtheholidayalsoboostednumbersfromothercitiesby 18.3 percentagainstlastyear.

Thenationaltourismadministrationsaid 4 millionChinesetraveledoverseasonholidayduringthebreak, 90 percentofthemheadedtoAsiandestinations, themostpopularbeingThailand, SouthKoreaandHongKong.

Accordingtolocaltravelagents, theirinternationalcounterpartshavebeenmakinghugeeffortsthisyeartoattractmorehigh-spendingChinesetourists, hiringinterpreters, forinstance, andprintingbilingualbrochures.

SouthKoreahadexpected 630,000 Chinesetouristsduringtheholiday, whileUnitedStatesofficialshadsaidthatChinesetouristsnowrepresentedthefastest-growinggroupwithnumbersexpectedtodoubleinthenextthreeyears.

“Therobustoverseasshopping, mostlyseenamongthemiddleclass, reflectsChina’sfasteconomicgrowthandopeningupinthepastdecades,” Dingadded.

lijiabao@chinadaily.com.cn

 

Retailers ring up record $86b

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