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China's New Year Travel Binge Set to Show Rebalancing in Action

  • Retailers and restaurants may ring up $100 billion in sales
  • projects a record 6 million overseas trips next week
A woman looks out over the crowds as passengers wait to board their trains as they head to their hometowns for the Lunar New Year holiday, at Shanghai Hongqiao railway station in Shanghai on February 3, 2016.
Photographer: Johannes Euseke/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese consumers, pillars of strength in a slowing economy, are ramping up spending as the Lunar New Year holiday approaches.

Travelers will make a record 2.91 billion trips by road, rail, air and water over the holiday season, up 3.6 percent from last year, according to the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planner. Six million will head to foreign destinations during the week-long public holiday, while retailers and restaurants will probably ring up more than $100 billion in sales.