China retail sales rise 11.9%
Official figures show China’s total retail sales growth in 2014 was 11.9 per cent.
But the country’s GDP growth slowed to 7.4 per cent – the lowest rate in 24 years, but a rate Chinese officials described as “the new normal” as the country begins to stabilise from massive rates of the past as it raced to catch up with the rest of the world.
The new figure announced by the National Bureau of Statistics was only marginally below 2013’s rate of 7.7 per cent and it was slightly higher than economists were forecasting.
“China’s economy has achieved stable progress with improved quality under the new normal in 2014,” the NBS said in a statement.
“However we should also be aware that the domestic and international situations are still complicated and economic development is facing difficulties and challenges.”
Retail sales are considered a key indicator of consumer spending. Total sales were estimated to be approximately 26.6 trillion yuan (US$4.28 trillion), the Commerce Ministry said.