“Home economy” refers to all consumption that can be generated without leaving home, including e-commerce, household appliances, audio-visual entertainment, and other industries. As “home life” has brought fire to the “home economy”, a number of new business formats have ushered in explosive growth. In order to comply with this trend, many domestic brands are also sparing no effort to innovate and upgrade. Relevant questionnaires show that “home” electronic products frequently purchased by consumers include headphones, projectors, game consoles, tablet computers, chargers, VR glasses, etc. In overseas markets, “home economy” products are also popular, with projectors, game consoles, tablet computers, and other products occupying the top of the sales list. Exports of “home economy” products, steel products, and automobiles have performed well, becoming an important force driving the growth of my country’s exports to countries along the “Belt and Road”.
The China Chamber of International Commerce said that, on the whole, the “home economy” has injected vitality into the export of home appliances, and installation-free products such as kitchen appliances, audio-visual entertainment, and mobile air conditioners are more popular. For example, the rigid demand characteristics of refrigerators, freezers, and microwave ovens during this period were highlighted, and the sales of small household appliances were also very popular; the increase in demand for home audio and video entertainment supported the growth of LCD TV exports; the control in some areas also spawned more housing adjustments. The new demand has produced certain support for the air-conditioning market. As the so-called crisis, the “home economy” has also created more market opportunities for some household appliance sub-categories.
Foreign trade development is resilient
With the normalization of the epidemic and the weak recovery of outdoor travel, the rotation trend of demand for home appliances is not obvious. The export volume of some products that had benefited from the “home economy” declined year on year. The latest data from the General Administration of Customs show that in February this year, China exported 4.27 million refrigerators, a year-on-year decrease of 12.8%; from January to February, China exported 9.72 million refrigerators, a year-on-year decrease of 10.9%. In February, China exported 1.47 million washing machines, down 15.1% year-on-year; from January to February, China exported 3.31 million units, down 13.4% year-on-year.
In response to the reasons for the decline in the number of exports of “home economy” products, Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Shu Jueting said at a regular press conference on March 24 that first, the impact of the epidemic is still ongoing. The bottleneck of the global supply chain has not yet eased, and the shortage of important raw materials such as chips continues to plague foreign trade companies. Recently, the local clustered epidemics in the country have been characterized by many points, wide areas, and frequent occurrences, and the foreign trade industry chain and supply chain have been affected to a certain extent. Second, overseas epidemic control measures are gradually relaxed, residents spend less time at home, and the demand for some “home economy” products decreases accordingly. Third, the recent high geopolitical risks, rising commodity prices, greater uncertainty in the global economic and trade recovery, and a blow to overseas consumer confidence.
Shu Jueting said that at present, the situation facing my country’s foreign trade development is still complex and severe, but my country’s foreign trade industry has a solid foundation, and its industrial chain and supply chain are resilient. From January to February this year, my country’s total import and export value was 6.2 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 13.3%, of which exports increased by 13.6%, basically achieving a “stable opening”. With the joint efforts of various localities, departments, and foreign trade enterprises, the foreign trade operation throughout the year is expected to remain within a reasonable range.