China's consumer and retail market is likely to see a strong performance in the fourth quarter, underpinned by a faster recovery in the offline segment and a boost to consumer spending from the online shopping festival in November, Fitch Ratings said in a report.
Offline retail sales, hit by COVID-19 at the beginning of this year, recovered in September, the agency noted, adding that stronger consumer traffic has boosted the recovery of restaurants, cinemas and the hospitality and tourism sectors.
China's largest annual online shopping event, known as Singles Day, will also boost consumer spending, the report said, noting this year's "Double 11" shopping festival has already begun its pre-sales to widen the window for consumer purchases.
"Many Chinese merchants have shifted sales online amid the pandemic, and some new-retail business models have thrived after digitizing their retail value chains, expediting online and offline integration," the report said.
Amid effective containment of the pandemic at home, China has seen a pick-up in consumer spending, with retail sales of consumer goods rising 0.9 percent year on year in the third quarter, the first positive quarterly growth this year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.
Online retail sales reached over 8 trillion yuan (about 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first three quarters, up 9.7 percent year on year, the latest data from the Ministry of Commerce showed.