The Recovery of China’s Travel Signals an Uplift for Consumer Spending

The travel recovery in China during the Lunar New Year holiday signaled an uplift in consumer spending as the country squeezed its way through an economic crisis.

Official reports showed more than 61 million rail trips in the first six days during the period, while Bloomberg News also stated that the number increased by 61% YoY, reaching the highest level in five years compared to the data compiled by the agency.

The travel data showed a good sign for China after it struggled with the ongoing property crisis and deflation in the country.

Chinese state media reported some initial data compared to last year showing that road and air trips during the period also improved, while hotel sales on the country’s e-commerce platforms also grew by more than 60%.

Frederic Neumann, chief Asia economist at HSBC Holdings Plc., demonstrated that the Chinese consumer was beginning to stir, and that the spending indicators had surpassed expectations. Meanwhile, he also pointed out that the surpassing of the 2023 number was just a low bar since the country was still in the process of recovering from COVID-19.