BEIJING – A Chinese commerce official said Thursday that the country’s consumer market is recovering from a coronavirus-induced slump.
As the country’s epidemic control and prevention situation continues to improve, the consumer market is warming up, with a clear increase recorded in sales, Gao Feng, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said at a press conference.
Gao said growth of sales revenue at 5,000 major retailers rose 15.8 percentage points in March compared with that of February, and further improved into April.
The country’s retail sales tumbled 20.5 percent year on year in the first two months of the year, typically a boom season for consumption, compared with an increase of 8 percent in December. The slump came amid the novel coronavirus outbreak during which the government extended the Lunar New Year holiday and advised residents to stay at home.
Retail sales, GDP and other economic indicators for the first quarter are due for release Friday.
Gao said in the short run, the pandemic has dealt a blow to the global economy and supply chains, and there is a need to enhance international cooperation to secure crucial supply chains.
For the longer term, Gao said the Chinese economy has great resilience, potential and plenty of room for policy maneuvering, and the economic fundamentals for sound development remain unchanged.