China starts year of rooster with robust growth momentum

Updated 2017-02-03 19:46:15 Xinhua

The year of rooster started with a resonant crow for China with impressive economic performances.

As the key engine of the world's second largest economy, consumption posted strong growth in the past week as Chinese people spent more on shopping, dining, travelling and movie-going.

Shops and restaurants across China reported robust sales from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2, with sales in the catering and retails sectors reaching 840 billion yuan (120 billion U.S. dollars), up 11.4 percent year on year, official data showed.

Sales of traditional festival-related goods, jewelry, household appliances and digital products saw rapid growth. Major jewelry stores in Gansu, Hebei and Anhui provinces reported double-digit sales growth, with rooster-themed accessories most favored by consumers.

The week-long Lunar New Year holiday also saw record box office as more Chinese people became movie-goers.

About 3.3 billion yuan (480.5 million U.S. dollars) were taken at the box office from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2, up 10 percent year on year, according to Maoyan.com.

Travel is also popular. During the seven-day holiday some 344 million visitor trips were made, up 13.8 percent from the same period last year, of which about 6.15 million were overseas trips, up 7 percent year on year.

Tourist ventures took 423.3 billion yuan (60 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue during the period, up 15.9 percent.

Behind the spending are changing preferences and ways Chinese people consume. Chinese consumers now want high-quality, personalized and varied products and services.

In addition to strong consumption, the manufacturing sector also expanded. The manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 51.3 in January, staying in expansionary territory for the sixth month, pointing to a stabilizing economy.

A separate survey of the service sector showed steady growth, with non-manufacturing PMI up 0.1 to 54.6.

Financial, insurance and Internet and software information technology were among the fastest growing service sectors, while transportation, catering and property sectors reported contractions.

Supported by consumer spending and the service sector, China's GDP grew 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 and the full-year GDP growth stood at 6.7 percent, well within the target range.

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