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Epidemic will not slow down consumption in further boosting economy

(People's Daily Online)    17:03, February 28, 2020

Consumption will continue to play a role as the top driver of growth in China despite the short-lived impact of the current novel coronavirus epidemic, thanks to changes in consumer habits and resilience of the country’s economy.

(Photo/Xinhua)

China has now entered the e-commerce age, and has seen the largest number of netizens and online retail trade volume in recent years. As the epidemic continues, consumers are increasingly doing their shopping online.

On Jingdong Supermarket, an arm of e-commerce giant JD.com, sales of fresh food, including vegetables and fruit, saw triple-digit growth year on year from Jan. 20 to Feb. 17. The platform also sold 85,900 tons of rice, wheat and other food grains, 85,000 tons of fresh food, 32.5 million liters of edible oil and 480 million paper diapers during this period.

Chinese consumers are also optimistic about the huge potential for consumption as companies resume production, and scenic spots and shopping malls gradually reopen.

China’s massive consumption potential has a solid foundation, as the country has a population of 1.4 billion, and had the largest middle-income group in the world by the end of 2019, said Ning Jizhe, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, adding that it remains the world’s most promising market.

Consumption contributed to 57.8 percent of China’s GDP growth in 2019, 26.6 percentage points higher than the gross capital formation, he noted.

Last year also witnessed significant improvement in people’s consumption capacity, an upgrade of the consumption structure, and increase in the consumption of services, according to the official.

Ning estimated that a rise in China’s urbanization rate would open up huge space for investment growth and help boost consumption.

The country’s huge consumption potential is also underwritten by new economic fields such as 5G and artificial intelligence, as well as new consumption trends including VR entertainment, which will open up new space for high-quality economic development.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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