February 21, 2018 / 3:01 PM / a year ago

Chinese spend more on restaurants, movies, travel during new year holiday

Passengers wait to board trains at Beijing Railway Station as they travel ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, in Beijing, China February 4, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese shoppers stepped up spending during this year’s week-long Lunar New Year holiday, splashing out more at restaurants, retailers and cinemas, according to Ministry of Commerce data released on Wednesday.

The retail and catering sectors posted sales of 926 billion yuan ($146 billion) during the holiday period that began on Feb. 15 and ended on Wednesday, an increase of 10.2 percent from the year-ago holiday, the ministry said on its website.

Chinese also traveled more during the holiday, with tourism revenue rising 12.6 percent to 475 billion yuan, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing the China National Tourism Administration. The number of trips taken during the new year period rose by 12.1 percent to 386 million, the report said.

From Feb. 16, the first day of the Year of the Dog, through Feb. 20, Chinese movie box office receipts totaled 4.6 billion yuan, a rise of nearly 60 percent over the first five days of the previous year on the lunar calendar, the Commerce Ministry said.

Reporting by Tony Munroe; editing by Mark Heinrich

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