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China retail earnings up 8.5% during new year holiday: ministry

[SHANGHAI] China's retailer and catering enterprises earned over 1 trillion yuan (S$201 billion) during the Lunar New Year holiday, defying an economic slump to rise 8.5 per cent from last year, the country's commerce ministry said late on Sunday.

The increase was down to the rapid growth in sales of new-year gifts, traditional foods, electronic products and local speciality products over a six-day holiday period ending on Saturday, the Ministry of Commerce said in a notice on its website.

Domestic tourism during the new year break generated total revenues of 513.9 billion yuan, up 8.2 per cent on the year, with the number of trips rising 7.6 per cent to 415 million, the official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday, citing official data.