"This has certainly been a fragile time in the psyche of Chinese consumers with all the fear and anxieties caused by uncertainty and information overflow," said Derek Deng, partner with Bain & Company in Shanghai.
A Bain & Company report predicts a post-epidemic consumption recovery will "largely follow patterns similar" to the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak. Then spending on food and cosmetics saw a quick return to normal while demand for clothing surged beyond pre-epidemic levels. But just when a full recovery will happen remains unclear.
"Consumer sentiment is still in the process of returning from panic to normal or a new normal," said Deng.