A staff member prepares packed meals for Spring Festival at a restaurant in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province, Feb. 3. 2019. (Xinhua/Wang Jiankang)
BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- The consumption boom during the week-long Spring Festival holiday in China heralds a bullish start to the Year of the Ox for China's economy. The robust consumer spending is a good manifestation of China's effective epidemic control and prevention on a regular basis as well as bullish recovery of the economy.
--- Strict and effective epidemic prevention and control
The Spring Festival in 2021 is the first of its kind after China put the ravaging COVID-19 epidemic under control. In 2020, the sudden onslaught of COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on the whole country, resulting in a massive economic shock and a negative impact on social order.
Thanks to the unyielding national spirit of the Chinese people, China has taken the lead to contain the spread of the epidemic, resumed work and production in an orderly manner, and become the only major economy to have registered positive growth in the world.
At the beginning of 2021, the sporadic resurgence of the epidemic in many parts of China affected the Spring Festival travel rush and the plans of countless people to return home for family reunions. Many people chose to stay put during the traditional festival in response to the government's call for avoiding unnecessary gatherings as part of the anti-epidemic measures.
With the strict control measures, the epidemic has been firmly under control, which has greatly eliminated the concerns of people about the epidemic, activated the happiness during the holiday and released people's constrained desire for consumption.
---Robust economic recovery
According to the latest statistics, consumer spending during the Spring Festival (February 11-17) surged noticeably, with the combined sales of retail and catering enterprises rising 4.9 percent from the Spring Festival in 2019 to 821 billion yuan.
China's express delivery sector processed 660 million parcels during the week-long Spring Festival holiday, surging 260 percent over the same period last year, said the State Post Bureau.
The Spring Festival box office during the week-long holiday reached 7.82 billion yuan, beating the record in 2019 and setting many world records such as the highest single-day box office and weekend box office in a single market.
Data from the Department of Commerce in Hainan Province, nine duty-free stores in the southernmost province saw their total sales volume reach 1.5 billion yuan during the holiday, twice the figure registered during the Spring Festival holiday in 2019.
Statistics from Cainiao Network, Alibaba's logistics unit, showed that from February 4 to February 15, the amount of delivered parcels quadrupled that in the same period of 2019.
Meanwhile, Beijing, Shenzhen and Suzhou have issued digital currency in virtual red envelopes worth tens of millions of yuan to enable local residents experience the zealous holiday atmosphere and boost consumption as well.
Moreover, visiting temple fairs and enjoying light decorations have become a new trend for local people to celebrate the Lunar New Year. According to the statistics of Ctrip, ticket orders from local tourists during the holiday skyrocketed 300 percent than those in the Spring Festival holiday in 2019.
Those statistics are solid evidence to show that China's economy is undergoing a robust recovery and a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay is taking shape. As CNN said in its report of China's box office during the Spring Festival holiday, "it's further evidence of a robust upswing in the world's second biggest economy."
As the first year of China's 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), the year of 2021 has achieved a promising start, fully demonstrating China's capability and confidence in addressing all kinds of risks and challenges and marching towards development goals.
The animal "Ox" in the Chinese culture symbolizes diligence, bravery and perseverance. The Year of the Ox is expected to bring brighter prospects for the future and more courage to face the challenge. China will join hands with the world to create a better and brighter future. (Contributed by Zhang Yuan with Xinhua Silk Road, email@example.com)