Service consumption recovery gathers speed
China's economic recovery is on the right track, and the recovery of services consumption is off to a strong start, said experts at some foreign institutions.
The country's offline consumer service sectors like tourism, movies and catering, which were severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, saw a strong rebound in demand during the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday in late January, said Fitch Ratings.
Domestic tourist trips during the holiday jumped 23.1 percent year-on-year, recovering to around 90 percent of the pre-pandemic level during the same period of 2019, while tourism spending rose 30 percent year-on-year.
Cinema box-office receipts reached the second-highest take on record, and the number of tickets sold was only slightly below the 2019 level, according to official figures.
National retail and catering revenues reported by key enterprises increased 6.8 percent year-on-year.
Dine-in consumption at restaurants and eateries grew strongly by 15.4 percent year-on-year, with average restaurant spending up 10.8 percent, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
The country's official manufacturing purchasing managers index rose to 50.1 in January, up from 47 in December, ending three months of contraction.
The January rebound in PMI is in line with consumption figures during the Lunar New Year holiday, demonstrating a strong recovery in the Chinese economy.
This year, although slower exports will have a negative impact on China's economic growth, consumption growth in the country is expected to rebound to about 7 percent.
In addition, investment is likely to stabilize at around 5.5 percent.
Combined, these factors will hopefully drive the full-year economic growth to about 5 percent, said analysts at UBS CIO.