Chinese Consumer’s New Year Shopping spree shoots up retail business

BEIJING — China’s shopping malls have stayed busy as the nation’s consumers flocked into stores over the Lunar New Year holiday, retail figures indicate.

Consumer spending in China rose 13.8 percent to $42.4 billion when compared to last year’s week-long Lunar New Year holiday, or Spring Festival, the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua reported Saturday.

The report said sales figures indicate the global financial crisis hasn’t put a dent in China’s retail growth. Much of the spending has been spurred by sales promotions in major cities as well as government subsidies to farmers for the purchase of home appliances.

The Ministry of Commerce said the city of Guangzhou produced a shopping campaign in which about 10,000 retailers offered discounts worth $58 million.

“There are more customers than usual,” a salesgirl identified by the surname Yang, on duty Saturday at Sogo department story in Beijing, told Xinhua. “That’s totally unexpected. I feel shorthanded on my own.”

The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Commerce says it found that 100 catering, supermarket and department store companies in the city reported total sales up by an average of 8 percent over the holiday week.

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