January 02, 2023: -An Oliver Wyman survey found that most Chinese people still stay in their apartments, even though a relaxation in Covid-related restrictions.
Over 90% of consumers interviewed over the weekend said they avoid going out, the consulting firm added. Nearly 60% of respondents said they would be uncomfortable going out in public for at least the next few months.
After months of surging stringent measures to control Covid-19 outbreaks, mainland China suddenly ended restrictions in early December. Meanwhile, infections began to pour in Beijing and other cities like Shanghai. Visits to fever clinics zoomed, which pressures an already stretched public health system.
“We observed that many high streets and malls were deserting in December,” Kenneth Chow, principal, Oliver Wyman, said in an email.
“Due to increased infection, many firms we spoke with expressed concerns over labour shortage as a huge portion of their staff have been off sick, and a few are struggling to maintain their service level,” Chow added.
Anecdotally, while many more people went to malls and attractions in Beijing over the weekend, only some stores had reopened. Venues were modest with people but not at the packed levels typical for the city of 22 million pre-pandemic.
Only 8% of surveyed consumers were comfortable regarding going out right now, Oliver Wyman added.
The study covered 4,500 Chinese people more than 16 years old across all sizes of cities and was weighted to be representative of China’s urban population.
According to surveys made over the last two decades by the People’s Bank of China, local interest in saving over spending has climbed this year to record highs.
According to fourth-quarter results released Tuesday, nearly 62% of respondents said they preferred to save instead spend or invest. That’s up from almost 58% earlier this year.
The survey said people who did decide to spend more were most interested in making so in health care and teaching.