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Record 45t yuan consumption still appears possible this year

2020-3-23 12:41

Employees promote online mobile phone sales via livestreaming at a shopping center in Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan province, on Friday. [Photo/Xinhua]

 

The 2020 Spring Festival holiday in January may have been the most extraordinary Lunar New Year break ever in history. On the one hand, China's frontline medical staff had to battle the coronavirus outbreak, and are still having hectic, highly intensive working schedules. On the other hand, businesses in sectors like catering, e-commerce, entertainment, travel, beverages, fitness, and theme parks suffered unprecedented loss of business, and are shuttering or having a protracted break.

 

Estimates from the China Tourism Academy show total revenue of China's tourism industry would hit 6.63 trillion yuan ($945.9 billion) in 2019. That means, the epidemic in 2020 will bring a big loss.

 

Zhu Min, head of the Tsinghua National Institute of Financial Research and former deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, estimated that total consumption in the first two months this year would be 1.38 trillion yuan lower than that of the same period last year.

 

Total retail sales of consumer goods last year was over 41 trillion yuan, up 8 percent year-on-year. The actual growth rate was 6 percent if we eliminate the influence of price change.

 

Currently, many experts are reportedly worried about slowing consumption's impact on the economy amid the epidemic. Uncertainty shrouds recovery. Many of them even think consumption, the biggest driver of China's economic growth for six consecutive years, would slow further.

 

I disagree. I think China's consumption after the epidemic this year will rebound, especially consumption in new forms, upgraded consumption, consumption for material or tangible things, and consumption in the services sector. Retail sales of consumer goods this year are likely to hit 45 trillion yuan, up 8 percent year-on-year. China is likely to surpass the United States and become the world's largest consumption market on the back of the factors discussed below:

 

New forms of consumption

 

The central government has encouraged the development of consumption in new forms as well as consumption upgrade.

 

On March 4, the central government signaled resumption of production while expanding domestic demand. Consumption that was halted due to the epidemic should be reinvigorated, and new forms of consumption that emerged during the epidemic prevention and control should be encouraged to boom. This could be a "refill" for consumption of real material goods and services, and the central government's guidance pointed to the direction to take for the next phase of development of China's consumption.

 

Four sectors will stand out in the near future: China's new forms of consumption, upgraded consumption, consumption of real materials, and consumption of services, which will lead the market.

 

New forms of consumption, including cultural products, healthcare, and yangsheng-it is a Chinese word that describes a philosophy of preventive wellness to nurture life, by preempting small ailments from growing into major diseases-will see more rapid development after the epidemic.

 

Culture, leisure

 

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics show there were 2,072 art performance groups in China related to culture and tourism by the end of 2019. There were also 3,410 museums. In addition, the country had 3,189 public libraries that recorded 877.74 million visits, and 3,325 cultural exhibition halls. This year is likely to see more visits to museums and libraries, and more active visits to various shows.

 

China also has the world's largest number of cinema screens. In 2019, some 12,178 cinemas boasted 68,922 screens. Consumption in the film sector was rapidly developing, until the epidemic dealt a blow to the industry with all films withdrawn from release during the Spring Festival holiday, a peak movie-going season. The films could have brought in about 7 billion yuan in box-office receipts. The impact of the epidemic on cinema chains in China is estimated to surpass 16 billion yuan.

 

I think there will be a boom in box-office sales after the epidemic. For, consumers will want to watch good, exhilarating films after experiencing boredom and anxiety caused by protracted confinement to indoors during the outbreak.

 

For their part, film producers would seek to recover from their losses by attempting to attract more audiences. However, cinemas are confined or enclosed places that could spark concerns if large crowds gather frequently soon after the contagion. Cinema owners and related staff will likely work toward innovative solutions to address such concerns.

 

Also, production of many reality shows and TV series was halted because of the epidemic, which means the number of productions will drop this year. Viewership of new content that goes past the post-production phase to reach audiences is likely to be good. This will hold true particularly for shows, series or films that depict heroes fighting on the epidemic frontlines.

 

Fitness and wellness

 

A great lesson from the epidemic is that we should exercise to enhance our immune systems.

 

In the pre-epidemic phase, activities like long-distance running and tennis were popular. Consumption in the exercise and fitness sector covers numerous parts of an industry chain, including consumption of fitness products, fields, and competitions. China's exercise and fitness market is expected to reach nearly 1.17 trillion yuan by 2019.

 

Tennis, volleyball, basketball, marathon, yoga … all such activities or sports for physical exercise might see a surge in the number of people practicing them.

However, the industry still faces the problem of keeping the playgrounds open and safe, while preventing person-to-person virus transmission.

 

Meanwhile, healthcare for the elderly may also see a growing need, and that will drive the development of China's traditional medicine, and related industries like herbs, senior care, and yangsheng. The development of the life-nurturing industry is also likely to promote economic development of some villages.

 

After the epidemic, there might be a large number of elderly people dancing in the parks, where the population density is very high. That is a challenge for urban management as it is important to offer the elderly a safe place to exercise while preventing the virus from spreading further.

 

The big upgrade

 

Upgraded consumption will also see rapid development after the epidemic. The epidemic has underlined the need for current consumption to upgrade from three aspects.

 

First, the way of consumption can be made even more convenient through online and offline channels, mobile payments, big data, and cloud computing.

 

Second, consumption of services can be upgraded through individualized and more specified services. It is also important to encourage consumption that is green or environmentally friendly.

 

Third, it is important to promote cross-border e-commerce. Imports and exports through cross-border e-commerce totaled 186.21 billion yuan in 2019. Going forward, it is important to promote China's e-commerce services to the global market.

 

In addition to new forms of consumption and upgraded consumption, China's consumption of real materials will also rise.

 

Merchandise retail accounted for a large part of total consumption goods retail in China. In 2019, China's merchandise retail reached 36.49 trillion yuan, accounting for 89.3 percent of the total. Before the epidemic, China's disposable per capita consumption was 30,733 yuan, while actual per capita consumption was 21,559 yuan.

 

It is worth mentioning that consumption by village residents is on the rise. The consumption propensity rate of rural residents in 2019 was as high as 83.19 percent.

 

Although there have been many orders made online, not all offline retail outlets of major supermarkets have re-opened, which is affecting overall consumption. At present, it appears that supermarket stores and night markets in some cities have opened partially. It is expected that merchandise retail sales will see a steady growth through the rest of this year.

 

Services, enjoyment

 

Industries like tourism, education and training, transportation and logistics will also see growth if the epidemic is brought under control, but those industries will not have rapid development in the short term.

 

Consumption of food via related services like restaurants and caterers, and of various kinds of beverages, and use of home services will see rapid development.

 

Consumption in the catering industry rises 9.4 percent to 4.67 trillion yuan in 2019, accounting for more than 11.3 percent of the total. The Spring Festival holiday has been a hot season for catering, alcohol and beverage consumption. However, places for dining and outdoor activities have been shut down due to the epidemic, which had a great impact on the industry.

 

China is a large market for global alcohol consumption. However, Chinese baijiu (clear distilled liquor) consumption dropped sharply due to the epidemic. As a result, liquor companies are under great pressure. There might be large consumption demand for baijiu and wine after the epidemic. Some liquor merchants said they have a large amount of liquor in storage, so they are confident of meeting pent-up demand.

 

China is home to varieties of tea. The country has a tea plantation area of about 44 million mu (2.93 million hectares) and an annual tea output of about 2.6 million metric tons, which accounted for 60 percent and 45 percent of the world's plantation area and tea output, respectively, and ranked first in the world.

 

At present, China's tea producers are actively resuming work under the guidelines of the government. It is expected that consumption of tea will see rapid development after the epidemic.

 

Demand for home services is also likely to increase after the epidemic, especially for high-quality service products. To date, people working in the home services industry surpassed 30 million.

 

High-quality development

 

There are around 400 million middle-income people in China whose purchasing power will likely become one of the most important driving forces behind overall consumption. Their consumption pattern is key to China's economic development.

 

China's high-quality economic development requires a higher level of consumption. For instance, consumption behaviors like eating wild animals should be strictly prohibited.

 

I am confident and optimistic about China's consumption market, which is likely to continue to be a major driving force of China's economic growth this year. Consumption in 2020 is likely to surpass 45 trillion yuan and hit a record high.

 

周五,在中国中部河南省会郑州的一家购物中心,员工们通过直播来促进在线手机销售。【图片/新华社】


2020年1月的春节假期可能是历史上最特别的春节假期。一方面,中国的一线医护人员不得不与冠状病毒疫情作斗争,他们的工作日程仍然很紧张。另一方面,餐饮、电子商务、娱乐、旅游、饮料、健身和主题公园等行业的企业遭受了前所未有的业务损失,有的正在倒闭,有的正在经历漫长的休市期。


中国旅游研究院预计,2019年中国旅游业总收入将达到6.63万亿元(合9459亿美元)。这意味着,2020年的疫情将带来巨大的损失。


清华大学金融研究所所长、国际货币基金组织前副总裁朱民预计,今年前两个月的总消费将比去年同期减少1.38万亿元。


全年社会消费品零售总额超过41万亿元,比上年增长8%。如果剔除价格变动的影响,实际增长率为6%。


目前,据报道,许多专家担心在新冠疫情流行的情况下,虽然不确定性在复苏,减缓了消费对经济的影响,但他们中的许多人甚至认为,作为中国经济连续6年增长的最大推动力,消费将进一步放缓。


笔者认为,今年疫情过后,中国的消费将会反弹,特别是新形式的消费、升级的消费、物质或有形物品的消费、以及服务业的消费。今年社会消费品零售总额有望达到45万亿元,同比增长8%。中国有可能超越美国,成为世界上最大的消费市场,原因如下:


新的消费方式


中央政府鼓励发展新形式的消费,促进消费升级。


3月4日,中央政府发出恢复生产的信号,同时扩大内需。要重振因疫情而停顿的消费,鼓励防疫、防疫期间出现的新消费方式。这可能是真正的物质商品和服务消费的“再补给”,而中央政府的指导为中国下一阶段的消费发展指明了方向。


中国新消费方式、消费升级、实物消费、服务消费将成为引领市场的四大板块。


新的消费形式,包括文化产品、医疗保健和养生之道——这是一个中文词,描述的是一种通过预防小病发展成大病的健康养生哲学——将在疫情结束后得到更迅速的发展。


文化、休闲


国家统计局的数据显示,截至2019年底,中国有2072个与文化和旅游相关的艺术表演团体。还有3410个博物馆。此外,全国共有公共图书馆3189个,接待游客8.7774亿人次,文化展览馆3325个。今年可能会有更多的人参观博物馆和图书馆,也会有更多的人积极参观各种展览。


中国还有世界上数量最多的电影院。2019年,约有12178家影院拥有68922块屏幕。电影行业的消费一直在快速增长,直到这场流行病对电影行业造成了打击,所有的电影都在春节假期(观影高峰期)停播。这些电影本可以带来约70亿元的票房收入。据估计,这一疫情对中国连锁影院的影响超过了160亿元。


我认为在疫情过后,票房会有很大的增长。因为,在经历了因疾病爆发期间长时间被关在室内而产生的无聊和焦虑之后,消费者会想要看好看的、令人振奋的电影。


对于电影制片人来说,他们将试图通过吸引更多的观众来弥补损失。然而,电影院是封闭的,如果感染后不久大量人群频繁聚集,可能会引发担忧。影院业主和相关工作人员可能会致力于解决这些问题的创新方案。

 

此外,许多真人秀节目和电视剧的制作也因疫情而暂停,这意味着今年的制作数量将会下降。经过后期制作阶段的新内容的受众可能会很好。这一点尤其适用于描述在流行病前线战斗的英雄的电视剧、连续剧或电影。


健身和健康


从这次流行病中得到的一个重要教训是,我们应该通过锻炼来增强我们的免疫系统。


在疫情前阶段,长跑和网球等活动很受欢迎。运动健身领域的消费涵盖了产业链的多个环节,包括健身产品的消费、场地的消费、比赛的消费。到2019年,中国的运动和健身市场预计将达到近1.17万亿元。


网球、排球、篮球、马拉松、瑜伽……所有这些体育活动或体育运动都可能使从事这些运动的人数激增。然而,该行业仍然面临着保持操场开放和安全,同时防止人与人之间的病毒传播的问题。


与此同时,老年人的医疗保健需求可能也会增长,这将推动中国传统医药以及相关行业的发展,如中草药、老年护理和养生。培育生命产业的发展也有可能促进一些村庄的经济发展。


疫情过后,可能会有大量的老年人在公园里跳舞,那里的人口密度非常高。这对城市管理来说是一个挑战,因为为老年人提供一个安全的锻炼场所,同时防止病毒进一步传播是很重要的。


大升级


疫情过后,消费升级也将迅速发展。这一流行病突出了从三个方面提高当前消费的必要性。


第一,通过线上线下渠道、移动支付、大数据、云计算,让消费方式更加便捷。


第二,通过个性化、具体化的服务,提升服务消费。鼓励绿色或环保的消费也很重要。


第三,大力发展跨境电子商务。2019年跨境电子商务进出口总额为1862.1亿元。未来,中国的电子商务服务必须向全球市场推广。


除了新的消费形式和消费升级外,中国对商品零售的消费也将上升。


商品零售占我国消费品零售总额的很大一部分。2019年,中国商品零售总额达36.49万亿元,占总额的89.3%。在疫情爆发前,中国人均可支配消费为30733元,实际人均消费为21559元。


值得一提的是,农村居民的消费呈上升趋势。2019年农村居民消费倾向率高达83.19%。


虽然网上订单很多,但并不是所有大型超市的线下零售网点都重新开业,影响了整体消费。目前,一些城市的超市和夜市似乎已经部分开放。预计商品零售额将在今年剩余时间里稳步增长。


服务,享受


如果疫情得到控制,旅游、教育和培训、交通和物流等行业也会增长,但这些行业短期内不会快速发展。


餐饮、饮料等相关服务的消费,以及家庭服务的使用将会快速发展。


2019年,餐饮业消费增长9.4%,达到4.67万亿元,占总消费的11.3%以上。春节假期是餐饮、酒水饮料消费的旺季。然而,由于疫情的影响,餐饮和户外活动场所已经关闭,这对行业造成了很大的影响。


中国是全球酒精消费的大市场。然而,由于这种流行病,中国白酒的消费量急剧下降。因此,酒类公司承受着巨大的压力。疫情过后,白酒和葡萄酒的消费需求可能会很大。一些酒商表示,他们有大量的酒库存,因此他们有信心满足被压抑的需求。


中国是各种茶叶的故乡。全国茶叶种植面积约4400万亩,年茶叶产量约260万吨,分别占世界种植面积和茶叶产量的60%和45%,居世界首位。

 

目前,中国的茶叶生产商正在政府的指导下积极恢复生产。预计疫情爆发后茶叶消费将快速发展。


疫情过后,对家庭服务的需求也可能增加,尤其是对高质量服务产品的需求。到目前为止,在家庭服务行业工作的人超过了3000万。


高质量的发展


中国约有4亿中等收入人口,他们的购买力可能成为推动整体消费的最重要力量之一。他们的消费模式是中国经济发展的关键。


中国高质量的经济发展需要更高水平的消费。例如,像吃野生动物这样的消费行为应该被严格禁止。


我对中国的消费市场充满信心和乐观,消费市场很可能继续成为今年中国经济增长的主要动力。到2020年,消费很可能超过45万亿元,创历史新高。

 

来自: china daily