China’s week-long Spring Festival ushered good news for shops, cinemas and restaurants, with retail sales surging by 11.2 percent during the week, compared to the same vacation period a year earlier, according to data released by the country’s Ministry of Commerce Saturday.
Sales from dining and retails reached 754 billion yuan ($115 billion), with robust sales in traditional commodities such as food, tobacco, alcohol and clothes while jewelry and digital products also reported fast growth, the ministry’s statement said, adding that Monkey-themed jewelry and accessories were hot sellers during the week-long celebrations, which mark the beginning of the Year of the Monkey.
Cinema ticket sales saw the sharpest increase, with an 80 percent jump in box office sales in China’s movie theatres over the first three days of the Lunar New Year, which started on Feb. 8. Total ticket sales over the first three days of this year’s Lunar New Year almost equaled the total sales for the whole week-long holiday last year, according to Saturday’s statement.
Shanghai spent the most nationwide, averaging 2,600 yuan ($400) per capita for entertainment during the holiday, according to ShanghaiDaily.com.
Once dubbed “the world's factory floor,” China's services and retail businesses have offset the trend of tepid industrial growth since last year as Beijing looks to shift the country’s economy to a consumer-led model. At 50.5 percent, services, for the first time, generated more than half of China’s gross domestic product last year.