MILAN – Chinese consumption data for the Lunar New Year exceeded expectations and returned to pre-coronavirus levels. Around $87.9 billion was spent on entertainment, catering and travel, an increase of 47.3% on an annual basis and 7.7% compared to 2019, the last reference year before Covid-19. Caution from observers: “While we see some strength in the data, we urge market participants to exercise caution,” Nomura analysts wrote in a note to clients, noting that the numbers reflect pent-up consumer demand, as this is the first Lunar New Year that is not affected by pandemic-related factors. However, analysts at Goldman Sachs noted that the “slightly longer than usual” holiday season this year “contributed to record passenger flows between regions and encouraged more long-haul travel.” But Nomura itself noted that despite higher overall costs, the average cost of each trip has fallen. In short: numbers that should be treated with caution. In the end, Asian indices ended mixed.