Spending on retail goods and dining during China's week-long National Day holidays returned to growth this year, offering unexpected respite to an economy that has been expanding at its weakest pace in almost three decades.

The "Golden Week" break, which started with National Day on Oct. 1 and ended on Monday, provides an important snapshot of Chinese consumers and tourists and their changing tastes and habits.

Overall revenue from retail and dining during the period rose 8.5 percent from a year earlier to 1.52 trillion yuan ($212.6 billion), helped by higher sales of white goods and increased spending on tourism and entertainment, state media reported, citing data from the commerce ministry.