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From Staff Reports
Retail sales during China's weeklong National Day holiday surged almost 350 billion yuan (about $46.7 billion), a 16% increase in consumer spending compared to last year's week of celebration, its Ministry of Commerce reported on Sunday.
During the week, Beijing hosted 5.94 million visitors, up 3.5% from last year. In the modern, almost-western East Coast city of Shanghai, the 4.62 million visitors spent more than 3.3 billion yuan (about $439 million), up 15.2% from last year's totals.
The holiday is one of three Golden Week holidays the government implemented in 1999 - ostensibly to boost consumer spending. The other two are the Spring Festival holiday and the May 1 Labor Day holiday.
Last year, retail sales during National Day rose 14.5% over the totals of 2005.
Retail sales growth is an indication of China's expanding middle class, the crux of China's emergence as a global economic powerhouse. As China's consumers become wealthier, their spending fattens the bottom lines of retailers, cell phone providers, Internet providers, car manufactures and even homebuilders.
And, as more Chinese companies are born and expand, even working-class retail investors can ride the wave through ADRs and index investing, and actually start to build wealth for themselves and their families.
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