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Dining, retail sales surge during Spring Festival

Updated: Feb 14,2016 8:00 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Shops and restaurants across China reported robust sales during the weeklong Spring Festival holiday, data from the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) showed on Feb 13.

Sales from dining and retails reached 754 billion yuan ($115 billion), up 11.2 percent over the same period last year, the MOC said in an online statement.

Traditional commodities such as food, tobacco, alcohol and clothes sold well, while jewelry and digital products also reported fast growth. Sales in major jewelry stores in Hubei province grew 22 percent, with monkey-themed accessories most favored by consumers as the holiday marks the beginning of the Year of the Monkey.

Restaurants had a busy week from hosting family dinners. Their business was given an added impetus as they worked closer with e-commerce platforms. Sales of 27 restaurants surveyed in the Chongqing Municipality grew 16.6 percent to 8.37 million yuan thanks to cooperation with online platforms including Meituan and Baidu Nuomi.

The Spring Festival, or Lunar New Year, which fell on Feb 8 this year, is traditionally a time for family reunion. Businesses were brisk during the period as people swarmed to shops and restaurants.