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Big spending during Spring Festival

02-18-2011 09:07 BJT Special Report:2011 Spring Festival |

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The Spring Festival, which is now drawing to a close, is one of the biggest consuming periods of the year. Zhang Ni takes a look at what Chinese people have been spending their money on during the holiday.

Welcoming a new member of the family, Jin Jing took her 3-month-old son to her parents' home to spend the Spring Festival. Although she saved some money by joining her extended family, the total cost was still larger than last year.

Jin Jing, Beijing resident, said, "Just on preparing the New Year's Eve dinner at home, we spent 3 thousand yuan. And for those gifts for several elder relatives my husband and I bought them presents of drinks, or nutritious food, each for more than 500 yuan."

More than 60% of families chose to have their New Year's eve dinner at home this year in the traditional fashion. But due to rising food costs more than 80 percent think they spent more than last year.

CCTV reporter Zhang Ni said, "There is a Chinese saying: foodstuff is all-important for the people. That explains why Chinese people have been spending a lot on eating during the most important holiday. But the Chinese New Year is also about making a fresh new start. Therefore, shopping is considered as another spending spree."

Shopping malls seems to be the biggest winner. In this shopping mall in downtown Beijing, clothes and jewelry are on the best seller list.

Zhang Liyan, Beijing Cuiwei Tower Company said, "The sales are very good this year. We sold 108 million yuan worth of goods during the first week of the holiday, an increase of 14%."

But salaries are not increasing that much. According to an internet survey, most interviewees spent more than one month's salary during the holiday, some even spent up to 4 times their salary. Other than dinner and gifts to parents, the biggest budget was spent on Hongbao, money in a red envelope given as a gift.

Jin said, "Money for kids was the biggest cost! Now every family has only one child, and if you don't give enough money you risk losing face. And kids are more and more demanding. Sometimes you have to give them as much as 1000 yuan! This year we spent much,but we received much as well, because we have a baby now."

No matter how prices increase or how families expand, people are still consuming every year, in respect of tradition. And the usual items such as food, clothes and Hongbao were still the main expense for Chinese families this year.

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV.CN

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