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China’s economy, having weathered the trade war
07:49 on 3.9.2020

China’s economy, having weathered the trade war

The Lunar New Year holiday is usually one of the busiest weeks of the year for Niu Mangmang, a hot pot restaurant chain that specializes in beef slices dipped into communal cauldrons of bubbling oil or soup stock.
But this year, as a new coronavirus spread from the city of Wuhan, Chinese families opted to stay home rather than celebrate over restaurant meals — and certainly not in restaurants where customers load up at buffets and slurp from the same pot.To get more latest china economy news, you can visit shine news official website.
“Normally, we’d have a full house, with all 30 tables booked at least one week in advance and many more people queuing in front of the store,” said Liu Bo, manager of a branch on the Chunxi shopping street in Chengdu, 700 miles west of Wuhan. “But now, it’s almost empty.”
Instead of the usual holiday turnover of $7,000 a day, Liu said he would be grateful for a fifth of that. He and other staff members are on half-pay as the restaurant battles through this period.
Similar tales are emerging throughout China as coronavirus infections mount. The latest figures show 20,438 people, across every province and region of China, have been infected.
The outbreak has sent a shudder through China’s already-slowing economy, with experts predicting annual growth could fall below 4 percent in the first quarter.
“Tourism, travel and dining out are going to be hit the most,” said Tao Wang, chief China economist at investment bank UBS.
The full extent of the impact will depend on how long the outbreak remains uncontained and how long the Communist Party enforces draconian shutdowns implemented throughout the country.Coronavirus fears have brought this nation of 1.4 billion almost to a standstill. From Beijing, where normally clogged ring roads are as clear as country lanes, to the barricaded hamlets that have shut themselves off to outsiders, China is hunkering down in the hopes of halting the pneumonia-like virus.
The figures suggest a significant dent to private consumption, which accounts for more than a third of the economy.
Movie theaters have had to refund presold tickets, amounting to $50 million just on Jan. 25, Lunar New Year’s Day.
The number of holiday-related plane and train trips was 40 percent lower this year than in 2019, when domestic tourism spending during the seven-day break totaled $73 billion. Beijing and Shanghai have halted long-distance bus services, while cities far from Wuhan have shut down public transportation.
Weddings and family gatherings have been canceled, contributing to a fall of as much as 12 percent in China’s liquor consumption this year and hurting sales of baijiu, the firewater that, ironically, is probably the closest thing to consumable disinfectant.
Market analysts say that if the ban on gatherings continues through March, baijiu companies could lose a fifth of annual sales. First-quarter sales account for more than a third of annual revenue for high-end baijiu makers such as Moutai.

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