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Beijing shopping malls report New Year golden craze


09:32, January 04, 2012

BEIJING, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Jewelry and gold products have become Beijingers' most favored items for the New Year, as evidenced by a huge sales boom in the city's jewelry stores during the three-day holiday.

Thousands of consumers swarmed into Beijing's major jewelry and gold outlets, ready to fork out over the precious metals and stones, which they planned as gifts and a way to conserve their wealth in times of inflation.

"I couldn't make my way through the crowd, and the clamors of those eager customers almost drove me mad," said Yang Xia, a customer outside the Caishikou Department Store, a major gold market in Beijing. Yang intended to purchase gold ingots and coins as New Year presents.

According to the data released by the Caishikou Department Store, the store has sold gold and jewelries worth of 430 million yuan (68.3 million U.S. dollars) in the three-day period, a rise of 53 percent over the year-earlier level.

Similar golden craze was observed in other large shopping malls for jewelry and gold products, including Guohua and Gongmei, whose combined sales with Caishikou in three days reported a 54.4 increase year-on-year.

China has shown its growing appetite for gold in recent years as its people's income increased. The country is now the world's second largest consumer of gold, following India, according to the World Gold Council.

This New Year's enthusiasm for gold products was further fanned up by a continued decrease in the gold price, said an official from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce.

During the New Year holidays, which lasted from Jan. 1 to Jan. 3 this year, the city's 127 key shopping malls, restaurants, and supermarkets recorded 2.65 billion yuan of sales, which was a 14.4 percent increase year-on-year.


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