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The rise and rise of Chinese consumerism

The Golden Week holiday period in China ended last week with record tourism numbers at all popular destinations, such as Westlake in Hangzhou (pictured), underscoring the investment theme of Asian domestic demand driving the region’s sharemarkets.

Asian sharemarkets rose 13 per cent in US$ terms in the September quarter, with 9 percentage points of that coming in the month of September. The markets are now trading near their long-term level of two times price:book.

According to specialist Asian investor Kerry Series, of Eight Investment Partners, the Asian consumption theme is well-known, with western investors continuing to rebalance accordingly. This is making it increasingly difficult to find stocks which will benefit at fair value.

In China, tourism is a relatively recent phenomenon for ordinary citizens, but they appear to have taken to it with gusto. Major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai reported train and bus ticket sell-outs before National Day, on October 1, which marked the start of Golden Week.

In typical Chinese fashion, workers are expected to make up for much of the five-day holiday by working weekends before and afterwards.

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