China’s retail sales, a key indicator of consumption, grew 10.7 per cent year on year in April, 0.2 percentage points slower than the March level, official data showed on Monday.
Total retail sales of consumer goods hit 2.73 trillion yuan (US $395.4 billion) last month, Xinhua news agency cited the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as saying. It increased 0.79 per cent month on month.
In the first four months, total retail sales of consumer goods rose 10.2 per cent year on year, 0.2 percentage points faster than the growth in the first quarter, according to Xing Zhihong, a spokesperson with the NBS.
Consumption activities were relatively stronger in rural areas, with retail sales expanding 12.6 per cent in April, outpacing urban areas, where retail sales climbed 10.4 per cent year on year.
Online spending was robust. From January to April, online retail sales surged 32 per cent year on year to 1.92 trillion yuan.
Xing said the April figure indicates continued expansion of domestic consumer demand, which was partly driven by consumption upgrades and new business patterns such as online sales.
China is trying to shift its economy toward a growth model driven by consumer spending, innovation and services, while weaning it off reliance on exports and investment.
China’s economy expanded at a 6.9 per cent pace in the first quarter, accelerating from 6.8 per cent in the previous quarter, and 77.2 per cent of it was driven by consumption, 12.6 percentage points higher than the 2016 level.