The “Golden Week” is the name given to a semi-annual seven-day or eight-day national holiday following Chinese National Day, on October 1, which commemorates the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Data now emerging shows that the world’s second-largest economy is continuing on the path to a complete recovery, following the impact of the global COVID19 pandemic, which first broke out in China in January.
During the latest Golden Week Holiday, from October 1 to 8, 2020, Chinese tourists shopped more in their home country than usual, due to the coronavirus-related travel restrictions. The week-long holidays this year included both the celebration of the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival and Chinese National Day.
Though international travel was at a virtual halt, Chinese shoppers were able to buy foreign goods online. Alibaba says total sales on Tmall Global, its chief e-commerce platform for overseas brands soared by 79% during the first seven days of the month, compared to the year-ago period.
According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, average daily sales for retail and food and beverages was 4.9% higher than last year’s Golden Week holidays, for total sales of 1.6 trillion yuan ($237 million).
Consumption is clearly on the rise, leading to rising prices for many products, including hotel stays, kitchen appliances, musical instruments and car accessories.
Most analysts believe the recovery of China’s economy from the coronavirus shock in the months ahead has to be driven by consumption, whereas it has been thus far driven mainly by property, infrastructure and exports, which account for 50% of the economy.
The major challenge for the nation’s economic recovery remains ensuring employment and expectations of future income.