Strong spending highlights vitality of China's economy
Updated: May 8, 2024 08:20 Xinhua

BEIJING, May 7 -- China's May Day holiday witnessed a surge in tourism and robust consumer spending, underscoring the resilience and dynamism of the world's second-largest economy.

This vitality is evident from encouraging growth figures. Official data has revealed that about 295 million domestic tourist trips were taken during the five-day holiday, a 7.6 percent year-on-year increase and a substantial 28.2 percent surge from the same period in 2019. Domestic tourist spending also surged 13.5 percent compared to 2019 figures.

During the holiday, China processed nearly 8.47 million entry and exit trips, reflecting a remarkable 35.1 percent increase from the same period last year. The country's box office earnings surpassed 1.52 billion yuan (214 million U.S. dollars), making this year's May Day holiday the third-highest-grossing in history.

Holiday periods are valuable indicators of economic activity and consumption trends. Insights from the May Day holiday reaffirm that consumption remains a cornerstone of China's economic growth trajectory, bolstered by structural changes and advancements in high-quality development.

In the first quarter, China's GDP expanded 5.3 percent year on year. Notably, domestic demand contributed 85.5 percent of economic growth, with final consumption expenditure accounting for 73.7 percent.

There has also been a notable shift in household consumption patterns, moving from a primary focus on goods consumption to a more balanced emphasis on goods and services. Per capita expenditure on services accounted for 43.3 percent of total per capita consumption expenditure in the first quarter.

The increasing popularity of consumption in services, including tourism, entertainment, digital services, health care and environmentally friendly products, reflects China's huge consumption potential. Meanwhile, the adoption of innovative technologies has given rise to novel business models such as livestreaming sales, instant retail and intelligent logistics, thereby propelling the growth of online retail sales of physical goods.

A meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on April 30 emphasized proactive measures to expand domestic demand and implement initiatives such as large-scale equipment upgrades and consumer goods trade-ins. The meeting also called for the creation of more consumption scenarios to meet the people's needs for diversified and high-quality consumption in an improved manner.

In terms of commodity consumption, local governments have carried out trade-in programs, contributing to the steady growth of big-ticket consumption. Notably, retail sales of automobiles, home appliances and furniture monitored by the Ministry of Commerce all saw steady growth during the holiday.

China has set a growth target of around 5 percent for this year, and its economy has made a promising start, reinforcing the positive trajectory of its recovery. Expectations are high that the Chinese economy will continue to lead major economies in terms of growth and remain a significant driver of global economic growth.

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