China’s retail sales rose 10.9 per cent in March – the best month of the year to date.
However the quarterly rise was just shy of 10 per cent – the first time the official figure has dropped below 10 per cent in 11 years according to the National Bureau of Statistics. IN January and February, China retail sales rose 9.5 per cent each month.
Retail sales of consumer goods totalled 8.5823 trillion yuan (US$1.25 trillion) from January to March.
There was strong consumption potential in rural areas, the data shows, with retail sales climbing 11.9 per cent during the quarter, outpacing urban areas where sales rose 9.7 per cent year-on-year.
Online sales continued their run of strong growth, surging 32.1 per cent in the first two months to 1.405 trillion yuan.
As a main driver of economic growth, consumption contributed to 64.6 per cent of China’s GDP growth last year. The nation is aiming for a steady increase in consumer spending this year.