Unleashing consumption potential in spring

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, February 7, 2022
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Generation Z-people born between mid-1990s and the early 2010s-prefer buying smartphones, digital electronics, local specialties and healthcare products for their family members.

Sales of air fryers, toasters, electric ovens and coffee makers increased by more than 10 times year-on-year from Jan 7 to 23, according to JD Daojia, the local on-demand retail platform of Dada Group.

People spent more time with their friends during the Spring Festival holiday. Sales of Polaroid cameras increased by 10 times and that of projectors rose sixfold on JD Daojia, while gaming notebooks, tablet computers and smart speakers increased by more than three times.

In January, the National Development and Reform Commission released a notice aimed at boosting consumption during traditional Chinese holidays, such as Spring Festival and Lantern Festival, while maintaining precise COVID-19 control.

The notice was issued to cater to residents' growing consumption demand and further unleash the potential of the domestic market, as part of efforts to propel the economy to achieve a stable start in the first quarter, according to the NDRC.

Multiple measures should be taken to meet residents' festive needs, including ensuring the supply of daily necessities and providing more contactless services, the notice said. The NDRC also adopted measures to upgrade online festival consumption and expand consumption in rural areas.

It called for measures to promote new energy vehicles and smart home appliances in rural areas while strengthening logistics and distribution networks. In addition, consumption related to the winter sports industry, as well as culture and entertainment, should be promoted, the notice said.

Consumption is playing an increasingly vital role in bolstering high-quality development of the world's second-largest economy and the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday provided an outlet to release consumers' pent-up demand, experts said.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that China's retail sales of consumer goods, a vital consumption indicator, reached 44.08 trillion yuan ($6.95 trillion) in 2021, up 12.5 percent, with an average two-year (2020 and 2021) growth of 3.9 percent.

In December, however, total retail sales of consumer goods increased by 1.7 percent year-on-year but dropped 0.18 percent month-on-month, indicating pressure exerted by demand contraction.

China's economic work in 2022 should prioritize stability of growth while pursuing progress, said the tone-setting Central Economic Work Conference in December.

The meeting cautioned that China's economic development is facing pressure from demand contraction, supply shocks and weakening expectations, and the external environment is becoming increasingly complicated, grim and uncertain.

Wang from the Academy of Macroeconomic Research said she is optimistic the consumption will maintain a growth momentum this year along with rising per capita disposable incomes and consumption expenditure of Chinese residents.

She also said total retail sales of consumer goods are expected to grow 7 to 8 percent this calendar year.

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