Li Aifei still has concerns about her family’s financial prospects. Her husband’s income from online advertising has plunged as advertisers have cut their budgets, so the whole family is relying on her small convenience store in Mianyang, Sichuan province, to cover utility bills, kindergarten tuition and daily expenses.
But Li also feels that the worst is behind them, as the coronavirus has been contained in most of China and shoppers are returning. Her daily sales revenue recently has nearly matched what she was registering before the coronavirus.
“We are doing OK because people still need to buy daily necessities,” she said. “The impact on other discretionary items, such as clothes, has been far bigger.”
Millions of Chinese families like Li’s were affected by the unprecedented outbreak, which was first reported in China and has resulted in more than 38 million infections and 1 million deaths worldwide. Despite a rise in the headline growth rate, the damage done to consumer sentiment and the small business environment has been significant.
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