China’s consumption recovers at accelerated pace, a good start for 2023



China’s consumption has been recovering quickly, with some sectors almost returning to their pre-pandemic levels.

The vigorous rebound has prompted central and local governments to introduce more policies, which experts believe will build on the growth momentum and unleash further consumption potential.

RECOVERY IN FULL SWING Domestic tourism was one of the sectors that took the lead in staging a rebound. During China’s weeklong Spring Festival holiday that ended on Jan. 27, some 308 million domestic trips were made, up 23.1 percent from the Spring Festival holiday last year, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The figure has recovered to 88.6 percent of the level in 2019.

Other industries such as retail and catering are also thriving. The combined revenues of major retail and catering businesses rose 6.8 percent from the last Spring Festival holiday, the Ministry of Commerce said.

China’s cinema box office during this year’s Spring Festival holiday reported its second-highest gross figures for the holiday to date, raking in a total revenue of nearly 6.76 billion yuan (about 1 billion U.S. dollars), according to data from the China Film Administration.

“During this year’s Spring Festival, we have seen a comeback of booming consumption activities, with spending in the trans-provincial tourism, catering and film sectors picking up rapidly,” said Wang Yun, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Macroeconomic Research.

Such promising signs have ensured a good start to full-year economic growth, Wang added.


Promoting consumption is high on China’s policy agenda for this year, as the annual Central Economic Work Conference held in mid-December last year noted that the country would prioritize the recovery and expansion of consumption.

A State Council executive meeting held in late January also urged timely measures to promote an early recovery of consumption as the main economic driving force.

Boosted by this positive outlook, local governments have been moving to unveil an array of pro-consumption measures designed to fuel the growth of specific spheres.