China's lottery sales soar to highest level this year

China's lottery sales soar to highest level this year

China's lottery ticket sales in August soared to their highest for a month so far this year, amid public concern about the economy following months of mostly gloomy data including youth unemployment.

National lottery ticket sales rose 53.6% in August from a year earlier to 52.96 billion yuan, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday.

A total of 375.76 billion yuan of lottery tickets were sold across the nation from January to August, up 51.6% from a year earlier.

The surging lottery ticket sales occurred during months of mostly soft economic data, with the unemployment rate of job seekers between 16 and 24 drawing particular attention from policymakers.

China's youth unemployment rate rose to a record high of 21.3% in June, according to official data.

Many social media commentators have linked the surge in lottery sales in recent months to a growing sense of economic uncertainty for young people.

The nation's statistics bureau abruptly stopped publishing the unemployment statistic in August, saying it had been suspended as officials sought to 'optimize' its data collection methodology, leading to a wave of social media criticism.

Despite the rising housing costs and the slowdown in the economy, jobless graduates have been losing the cities that have historically been a stepstone to middle-class wealth.