China retail sales recorded a 3.5 per cent year-on-year growth during the first two months of this year, reaching US$1.1 trillion (7.7 trillion yuan) – up from 7.4 trillion yuan last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Sales for the two months were combined to remove any influence of the timing of the Lunar New Year holiday on comparative data. The average two-year growth was 5.1 per cent.
Sales of goods surged 2.9 per cent to $987 billion (6.8 trillion yuan) during the two months while catering revenue was up by 9.2 per cent to 842.9 billion yuan. Retail sales of grain, oil and food and of clothes, shoes, hats and textiles went up by 9 per cent and 5.4 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, sales of gold, silver and jewellery, and cosmetics rose by 5.9 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively.
Online retail sales of consumer goods increased by 6.2 per cent to 2 trillion yuan, with online sales of physical goods – which account for 22.7 per cent of overall retail sales of consumer goods – up by 5.3 per cent.
Retail sales of consumer goods in February were down 0.02 per cent compared to the previous month.