The National Holiday week, or Golden Week, is a key time to see whether the Chinese are splurging in the shops.
And there’s plenty of good news for retailers. According to the Shanghai Daily, retails sales in Shanghai were more than 1.2 billion yuan ($176 million) in the first three days of the National holidays. That’s a 24pc increase from last year, which admittedly fell during the shock of the financial crisis.
Across the rest of the country, sales rose 15pc year-on-year to 14 billion yuan in the same three days, according to a Ministry of Commerce survey.
Household electrical appliances, jewellery, autumn and winter clothing, and cars were the most popular items, although shoppers may have been spurred on by generous subsidies.
Overseas travel jumped, although domestic tourism was flat. Visitors to China’s tourist sites was up 0.3pc year-on-year, but overseas travel booked in Shanghai was up 107.4pc year-on-year.
The car market is still booming, and the number of passenger vehicles entering and exiting Shanghai on its main six highways was up 5pc and 15pc respectively.
Much of the resilience is due to subsidies, but better employment prospects also seem to be underpinning the continuing strength of retail sales and consumer spending.