Luxury retailers Richemont and Burberry said they were optimistic that consumers in China would start spending again, helping offset three years of upheaval from the government's strict COVID-19 control policies.
Britain's Burberry, famous for its iconic Mackintosh-style coats, said it was seeing "very promising" signs of recovery in China as COVID-19 restrictions eased and a spike in virus infections that caused a sharp slowdown in growth before Christmas started to recede.
"We're very positive about the early signs and confident in the long-term opportunity" in China, said Chief Financial Officer Julie Brown.
She cautioned that the timing and pace of recovery would likely remain unpredictable.
Richemont, whose brands include Cartier jewelry and Swiss watches IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre, also said it expected a strong rebound in China.
Following the peak of the recent COVID wave in major cities, "stores have reopened and traffic has come back, and we are experiencing a strong retail rebound pre-Chinese New Year", a Richemont spokesperson said.
Its shares were up 1.4 percent, after hitting their highest in a year while Burberry rose 2.5 percent to its best level since January 2020 at 1238 GMT.
China's economy in 2023 will see a significant improvement, make bigger strides and contribute more to world economic recovery, China foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday.
Wang said in 2022, China effectively coordinated the COVID response with socioeconomic development, stepped up macro regulation, and effectively handled the impact of factors beyond expectation, despite the recurring and lingering pandemic and sluggish global economic growth.
"With China's COVID response moving into a new phase and life and work returning to normal at a faster pace, the internal drivers of China's economy will gather greater momentum and the dividends of efforts to deepen reform and opening-up will continue to be unleashed," said the spokesperson.
(With input from Reuters)