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China's Lunar New Year travel plunges 50% to 20-year low

Economists warn of negative growth this quarter as consumer spending plummets

Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai: Drastic measures by authorities to curb the spread of the outbreak led people to stay home instead of travel during the Lunar New Year.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- Chinese travel around the Lunar New Year holiday plunged by half this year to 1.48 billion trips, China's transport ministry said Wednesday, as the coronavirus outbreak disrupted trips nationwide.

The overall number was the lowest since 1999, and some forecasters say lost consumer and factory activity could tip the economy into negative growth this quarter.

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