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China's retail earnings up 8.5% for the Lunar New Year holidays

An increase in shopping was seen for new-year gifts, electronic products, traditional foods, and local specialty products.

Retailers and firms in China earned ¥1.01 trillion over the six-day Lunar New Year holiday period which ended on Saturday, the country’s Ministry of Commerce said. However, the pace of increase in sales was the slowest increase since 2011 as compared to previous years.

The sales for this year’s holidays - which were from February 4th to the 10th - was 8.5% higher than a year ago, due to a rapid growth in new-year gifts, electronic products, traditional foods, and local specialty products, the country’s commerce ministry said on its website.

But the weakness in the pace of increase as compared to previous years reflects an economy with a weakened domestic spending. China is expected to record slower growth for this year, as it continues to face trouble from its trade conflict with the United States while it copes with its rising debt levels.

The country reported a 6.6% gain in gross domestic product (GDP) for last year, the worst reading in almost 30 years. Fourth quarter GDP expanded at the slowest pace since the global financial crisis, due to the slack coming from both local and foreign demand.

Over the festive holiday period, domestic tourism generated ¥513.90 billion in sales, an 8.2% increase from a year ago, said Chinese news agencies, citing data from the commerce ministry. For last year, domestic tourism rose by 12.6%.

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