The rise in sales was led by auto purchases, as household incomes returned to positive growth and employment conditions improved after being slammed by the coronavirus pandemic. The recovery made China a lone bright spot in the retail world and a major source of earnings for global consumer brands from Starbucks SBUX.O to Louis Vuitton.
With the easing of curbs gathering pace in the third quarter, the hospitality sector is poised to accelerate its recovery.
Already, its contraction in output narrowed in the third quarter versus the previous three months.
“The services industry had been the most affected by COVID. Now, with restrictions being lifted, the industry is gradually emerging from its downturn, which would provide a strong boost to the broad recovery in the consumer market,” said Ernan Cui, analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics.
“We expect growth would return to pre-COVID levels by the end of the year.”
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8.30am update: Turkish political instability hits currency
The Turkish lira has weakened to a fresh record low beyond 8.05 against the U.S. dollar.
Strains in ties with the United States, a row with France, a dispute between Turkey and Greece over maritime rights and the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh have all unsettled investors.
The lira weakened more than 1% to as far as 8.0515 from a close of 7.9650 on Friday. It has lost 26% of its value this year against the U.S. currency. It also hit a record low beyond 9.5 against the euro.
8.00am update: Currency latest
The pound at 8am was 1.3014 dollars compared to 1.3038 dollars at the previous close.
The euro at 8am was 0.9100 pounds compared to 0.9083 pounds at the previous close.