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China's consumer market to bottom out by March

Updated: Feb 20,2020 20:52    Xinhua

BEIJING — China's consumer market is likely to stabilize and bottom out by March as the influence of the outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) fades away, an official with the Ministry of Commerce said on Feb 20. 

The epidemic, which broke out in late January, would not affect long-term stability and continued upgrade of China's consumer market, Wang Bin with the Ministry of Commerce told an online press conference, who expected its market impact to peak in February.

Wang estimated that while consumption in the first quarter would be the most heavily affected, the market would recover in the second quarter and further improve in the latter half of the year over a compensatory rebound in consumption activities.

Catering service, hospitality, tourism, as well as cultural and entertainment sectors, are the worst-hit in the epidemic, while in terms of consumer goods, sales of automobiles, home appliances, jewelry and apparel are likely to suffer more, he said.

Wang said priority has been given to orderly resumption of production and daily life activities while keeping up epidemic control and prevention efforts, adding that the ministry has made arrangements to push for reopening of businesses and support enterprises to pull through.