News from the Press Office of China's Ministry of Commerce is that from January 25 to February 31, 2009, which was the Spring Festival holiday week in China, and despite the economic slowdown, the country's total retail sales reached CNY290 billion, a year-on-year increase of 13.8%.
During the Spring Festival, various promotions contributed to the stable and rapid growth in the market. Traditional supplies for the Spring Festival like food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco, and fireworks sold well while the sales of jewelry, apparel, and home appliances saw rapid growth.
According to statistics gathered from major retailers in China and provided by Mofcom, the sales of food, beverage, alcoholic drinks, and tobacco during the 2009 Spring Festival holiday increased by 21.4%, 21.3%, and 18%, respectively, compared with the same period of 2008.
In addition, cultural and leisure activities have become new ways for people in China to spend their Chinese New Year holiday. Apart from traditional activities like shopping and dining, visiting temple fairs, reading, and watching sports and exercising have become popular. For example, the temple fair in Beijing Ditan Park received more than 900,000 visitors this year, a year-on-year increase of 20%. In some provinces such as Jilin, Zhejiang, and Inner Mongolia, the sales of books increased by 20% to 30% compared with non-holiday days.