According to the Department of Commercial Reform and Development of the Ministry of Commerce, in the first quarter of 2008, the dining and lodging market of China maintained a high rate of increase at 20%.
Retail sales in the two sectors reached CNY368.73 billion, which was an increase of 23.6% compared with the corresponding period in 2007 and the rate of increase was 6.2 percentage points higher than in the same period last year.
In the first quarter 168 new foreign-invested accommodation and catering enterprises were established, which was a decrease of 1.8% over last year; the contracted foreign capital was USD700 million, an increase of 82.4%; and the foreign investment in actual use was USD250 million, an increase of 18.2%.
This is influenced by factors such as price increases. For example food prices have increased by varying degrees in recent months. Food consumption in 2008 is expected to exceed CNY1.47 trillion and the per capita food consumption expenditure in China is expected to be CNY1,100.