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Factories win, retail loses in China's no-travel New Year

Steep decline in travel hits stores while manufacturers reap benefits

Many people refrained from travelling to their hometowns during the Lunar New Year holiday this year.    © Kyodo

BEIJING -- China's economy rebounded sharply in the first two months of this year from the virus-driven lockdowns and factory shutdowns of 2020, government data released Monday shows, but a monthly breakdown paints a more complicated picture.

On a year-to-year basis, industrial output jumped 35%, while retail sales grew 34% in the January-February period. But on a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, retail sales -- which include department stores, supermarkets and e-commerce -- dipped 1.4% in January from the previous month, marking the first drop since January 2020.

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