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Chinese consumers tightened their purse strings during the Lunar New Year Holidays, resulting in single-digit consumption growth in year’s biggest shopping seasons.  

The retail and food-and-drink industry sales rose 8.5 percent to CNY 1.005 trillion ($149 billion) over the weeklong holiday, the Ministry of Commerce said Sunday, down 1.7 percentage points from 2018 and the lowest growth rate in data going back to 2005 when such data was first collected, according to Nikkei Asian Review.  

The slowing consumption growth over the New Year Holidays is widely considered a barometer of spending for the rest of the year.