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Golden Week

Double-digit growth in daily retail sales in China over National Day ‘Golden Week’

New economy services such as car-sharing a hot growth spot, commerce ministry says

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 October, 2017, 3:02pm
UPDATED : Monday, 09 October, 2017, 5:57pm

China’s daily retail sales during the country’s “Golden Week” holiday that ended on Sunday rose at a double-digit pace, on a par with growth during the same break last year, data from the commerce ministry showed.

Average daily sales of retailers and catering firms increased 10.3 per cent to 1.5 trillion yuan (US$226 billion) during the eight-day National Day holiday, the ministry said.

Daily revenue grew 10.7 per cent in the previous year.

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The holiday, which ran from October 1 to 8 this year as it coincided with the Mid-Autumn Festival, is a peak season for Chinese people to pack their bags for distant and not-too distant travelling.

In revenue terms, the holiday is more important for retailers than Lunar New Year as they vie for customers with promotions and discounts.

Usually, the National Day holiday runs from October 1 to 7.

The ministry said new economy services such as car-sharing and hotel-sharing were increasingly popular this year.

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The National Tourism Administration said 705 million trips were made during the break this year, up 11.9 per cent from the seven-day holiday last year.

China’s tourism industry saw revenues of 583.6 billion yuan during the same period, up 13.9 per cent against last year, tourism bureau data showed.

Economists are closely watching China’s consumption data as the country shifts towards a more services-driven economy.

HSBC greater China economist Julia Wang Ran said the daily retail sales figure reflected “pretty strong growth” and structural changes in domestic consumption.

“There are big changes in the things people pay for, with expenditure mostly on services and experiences. Even in terms of traditional spending for dining, there are now different types and ways of eating out available and there is an element of experience in those as well,” Wang said.

“The rise of connectivity with the internet is another service for consumption, online shopping and also booking restaurants and organising trips online. These big consumption drivers were not around a couple of years ago but are today driving consumption patterns in China.”

Additional reporting by Kinling Lo