The regional civil aviation authority said Shanghai's two international airports handled 12.31 million passengers from May 1 to June 30, a 34 percent increase compared with the same period of last year. Among them 2.53 million were international air travelers, a 46 percent jump compared with last year. The airports also handled 626,300 tons of cargo in the period, which coincided with the first two months of the World Expo. --(7/31)
Retail sales jump 19.5%
Shanghai's retail sales increased 19.5 percent from a year earlier in June, after a rise of 18.9 percent a month earlier, according to a panel report of the Shanghai People's Congress yesterday.
The World Expo has driven the fast pace in retail sales growth, said Zhou Bo, director of the Shanghai Development and Reform Commission.
More than 21.5 billion yuan (US$3.17 billion) was spent on licensed Expo products in the two months since the event began on May 1. The amount surpassed the previous estimate of 20 billion yuan for the whole 184-day event.
Meanwhile, consumption at the World Expo site climbed to 530 million yuan in June, up from 410 million yuan in May.
In the first half, Shanghai's retail sales rose 17.5 percent to 292.1 billion yuan.
Zhou said the city's economy will moderate in the second half due to less prosperity in the stock and property markets.--(7/30)
Service adds stops
More stops are being added for passengers taking the small electric cars that tour the Expo site. Previously there were only four stops where passengers could get on and off, now there will be 17. The service will also cover more roads in all five zones.
Passengers can get off at any time during the journey but can only get on at designated stops.
The service costs 10 yuan.--(7/29)
Line 2 set to shorten intervals for trains
The interval times on some key sections of Metro Line 2 will be shortened to ease congestion along the city's busiest subway line, Shanghai's Metro operator said yesterday.
The operator plans to cut the interval time from 3 minutes and 20 seconds to 3 minutes, which is expected to increase capacity by 15 percent during rush hours.
Service improvements and passenger restrictions are necessary as daily passenger turnover will top 7 million within half a year, Metro officials said.
"The imbalance between train capacity and passenger volume has been a long-time headache," said Shao Weizhong, vice president of Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, operator of the city's subway network.
"More people will choose to take the subway with new lines opening or old lines being extended," Shao added.--(7/28)
Home sales rise, prices drop
Weekly sales of new homes rose to the highest in three months in Shanghai while the average price stayed below the 20,000 yuan (US$2,950) per square meter barrier for the seventh consecutive week.
Sales of new homes, excluding those designated for relocated residents under urban redevelopment plans, jumped 44 percent to 115,000 square meters last week, the highest weekly volume since April 26, Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co said yesterday.
New homes sold at an average 17,678 yuan per square meter during the seven-day period, a 4 percent drop from a week earlier. That's also the lowest average weekly price registered this year, according to Uwin.
"Compared with the average 225,000-square-meter weekly volume of new home sales recorded over the past 12 months, current home buying momentum in Shanghai is still very sluggish as a result of the country's latest rein-in policies," said Lu Qilin, a researcher with Uwin. "Therefore, some real estate developers have worked out independent strategies to trigger sales."
A new residential development in suburban Jiading District, the city's best-selling project by area for two straight weeks, sold 81 units from July 12-19, its launch week, at an average price of 11,883 yuan per square meter. This compared with prices of 13,000 yuan to 15,000 yuan per square meter in a neighboring area. The project's sales soared to 171 apartments from July 19-25 with the average price climbing 5 percent to 12,502 yuan per square meter, Uwin statistics showed.
"The first apartments were likely offered at low prices to designated buyers such as employees or those with a close relationship with the developer," said Sky Xue, an analyst at China Real Estate Information Corp. "Robust sales usually trigger buying sentiment among more people, making it possible for the developer to raise the price."--(7/27)
Make movie, win cash
A video competition named "My Expo Movie" will start on August 1, with a prize of 1,500 euros (US$1,936) awarded to winners. People above 18 who are interested can film Expo- or Italy Pavilion-related videos and upload their entries to www.expo2020italia.gov.it.
The website is available in Chinese, English and Italian. The deadline for entries is August 30. Movies must be 3 minutes or less and no celebrities can appear in the films.
Big day at Oil Pavilion
The Oil Pavilion, one of the most popular one, would close its door to visitors today due to the check-up and repair to its equipment.
Friday will be a special day at the Oil Pavilion. Top engineering experts will serve as tour guides, 50 couples will have a group wedding ceremony and prizes will be handed out that day.--(7/26)
Shanghai Customs collected taxes totaling 138.75 billion yuan (US$20.5 billion) in the first half of the year, an increase of 54.5 percent year on year.
This indicated that China's economy has been further improved, Customs officials said.--(7/23)
Life of luxury
Hong Kong is still a "paradise" of luxury shopping for Chinese consumers, while Shanghai's extensive luxury offerings and convenience have made it an especially attractive place to buy fashion and accessories, according to research by Asian market research firm Albatross Global Solutions with Ruder Finn Asia.
More than 1,100 Chinese luxury goods buyers from 22 cities, including Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, with an average annual income of 250,000 yuan (US$36,873), were interviewed in March and April.
"The economic downturn has a limited impact on the Chinese market," said Christophe Cais, executive director of Albatross Global Solutions.
Luxury watches were at the top of the shopping list.--(7/21)