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China retail sales up 17.1 per cent in August

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Chinese retail sales rose 17.1 per cent in August as compared to the same period a year earlier, according to government data.

Sales totalled 711.7 billion yuan ($94.6 billion), while sales in the first eight months of the year increased 15.7 per cent from a year earlier to 5.62 trillion yuan, said the National Bureau of Statistics in a statement.

China’s economic planning agency has said it expects retail sales growth of 12 per cent for all of 2007, though a steady rise on the back of wealthier Chinese consumers is likely to push the figure higher.

Consumer prices, another indication of the activity of China’s consumers, rose 6.5 per cent in August to a near-11-year high, the government said, propelled by soaring pork and other food costs.

The August figure was more than double the official full-year target of three per cent for 2007, and faster than the 5.6-per cent rate seen in July, which was then the highest inflation rate since early 1997.

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