China’s Catering Sector Output Jumps as Recovery Gathers Pace

China’s accommodation and catering industry was the fastest-growing among all sectors in the first quarter as the nation’s recovery from the pandemic quickened.

Output in hotels and restaurants, one of the hardest-hit industries during the coronavirus pandemic, jumped 43.7% from the same period in 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics said Saturday in a supplemental report on gross domestic product. That compares to a 2.7% gain in the previous quarter.

Transportation and storage expanded 32%, the second-fastest, according to the statement. The financial sector grew the slowest at 5.4%.

China’s economy advanced at a record pace of 18.3% in the first quarter as consumer spending strengthened, suggesting a more balanced recovery after an investment and export-fueled rebound from last year’s coronavirus lockdowns. The rebound in catering and offline consumption accelerated this year, the statistics bureau spokeswoman Liu Aihua said at a press conference Friday, as virus control measures are gradually eased and the job market and incomes improved.

Output in industrial enterprises expanded 24.4%, after increasing 6.9% in the previous quarter, and manufacturing grew 26.8%.

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