Photo: jimw for Flickr
All you have to do is look at photos of China’s traffic jams to know that Golden Week has been busy for the world’s second largest economy.Golden Week is a period of holidays during which Chinese people find themselves travel and spend much more than usual.
Early data confirms this year’s Golden Week is much more active than last year’s. From Bank of America’s Ting Lu:
China’s 1.3bn consumers are being closely watched this week amid escalating worries about China’s hard landing. To be sure, this year, we led the Street in cutting China’s GDP growth forecasts and we don’t expect a strong turnaround soon, but we believe worries about a hard landing are overdone in the market now. Strong tourism data (the number of tourists is up 23.4% yoy) for the first four days of the 8-day-long National Day Golden Week (from 30 Sep to 7 Oct) lends support to our soft-landing views.
“Tourism data also point to a shift of consumption toward leisure, a new source of demand,” writes Lu.
However, he warns that there are two things that may be giving this year’s Golden Week an extra boost.
- “First, this year, the Mid-Autumn Festival was the first day of the Golden Week Holiday, while last year, the Mid-Autumn Festival was three weeks ahead of the Gold Week.”
- “Second, tourist data could be distorted upward this year by a new policy that cancelled fees for highways during Golden Week for the first time.”
Nevertheless, Lu notes that these two factors aren’t having a huge impact. Rather, the strong data is a reflection of resilient consumer confidence in China.