(Yicai Global) March 26 -- The fallout from the Covid-19 virus on China's consumption will be short lived and manageable, the commerce ministry said.
The consumer market is gradually recovering as the epidemic eases in the country, officials said today, adding that some consumption was delayed due to the outbreak but compensatory spending will likely get underway once the epidemic is over.
Catering, lodging and housekeeping businesses are getting back to work at a rate of about 80 percent, 60 percent, and 40 percent, respectively, Xian Guoyi, director of the ministry's service and trade department said at a regular press conference in Beijing.
China has introduced a series of measures to promote consumption, and the consumer market is expected to pick up further soon, he added.
Regarding the global pandemic's effect on China's exports, Liu Changyu, an inspector at the ministry's foreign trade division, said major trading partners are taking anti-epidemic measures and foreign trading companies face weakening international demand in the short term.
In addition, the epidemic may stymie imports of intermediate products and raw materials along with final product exports. A halt to international exchanges of economic and trade personnel will also affect the ability of companies to secure new orders.
China will work to promote the orderly resumption of foreign traders' operations, help them get orders through online negotiations and exhibitions, and work with other countries to ensure that the global supply chain is open, stable, and secure, Liu said.
China's new investment in 48 countries along the Belt and Road region in the first two months of this year rose 18.3 percent from a year earlier to USD2.72 billion, according to the ministry. Chinese investors made CNY107.86 billion of non-financial direct investment in 1,733 overseas companies in 147 countries and regions, an increase of 1.8 percent (equal to USD15.5 billion, down 1 percentage point).
Editor: Peter Thomas