China's lottery sales soar in August

China's lottery sales soar in August

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

National lottery ticket sales surged 53.6 percent in August from a year earlier to 52.96 billion yuan, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

From January to August, a total of 375.76 billion yuan of lottery tickets were sold worldwide, up 51.6 per cent from a year earlier.

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

In June, China's youth unemployment rate reached a record high of 21.3 percent, according to official data.

The increase in lottery sales in recent months has been linked to a surge in economic worries among young people.

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

Jobless graduates have been losing cities that have served as a bridge to middle-class wealth, as they are facing increasing housing costs and a slowdown in the economy.