Urban Residents Double Tourism Spending to $280 Billion in First Half, Boosting China’s Recovery

China’s Second-Quarter GDP Growth Falls Short of Expectations

Beijing reported that China’s second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.3% from a year ago, which missed the expectations of analysts. Despite the slower pace, the first half of the year saw urban residents more than double their tourism spending to 1.98 trillion yuan ($280 billion), according to official data. However, rural residents’ spending on travel only increased by about 40% during the same period.

The unemployment rate among young people ages 16 to 24 reached a new record of 21.3% in June. Industrial production for June rose by 4.4% from a year ago, surpassing the forecast of 2.7%. Fixed asset investment for the first half of the year exceeded predictions by rising 3.8%.

China’s economic recovery has faced challenges, with the real estate sector struggling to rebound and exports plunging due to falling global demand. Lackluster consumer demand within China has resulted in no change in prices in June. The People’s Bank of China has predicted a dip in July but expects inflation to increase later this year.

While domestic travel has been a bright spot in the recovery, with urban residents increasing their tourism spending, it still falls short of pre-pandemic levels. The combined first-half total spending on travel and tourism was lower than the same period in 2019.

Beijing has extended property support measures and announced broad support for exports. However, the government has shown reluctance to provide larger stimulus packages as local government debt continues to rise. An upcoming Politburo meeting is expected to shed more light on economic policy decisions.

In conclusion, China’s second-quarter GDP growth missed expectations, reflecting the challenges faced by the country’s economy. Despite some positive indicators such as increased tourism spending by urban residents, the overall recovery remains below pre-pandemic levels. The government’s cautious approach to stimulus measures and mounting local government debt further complicate the economic situation. With upcoming meetings to discuss economic policy, analysts and investors will be closely monitoring China’s future steps.