China's retail sales up 33.8 pct in first two months
China's retail sales of consumer goods, a major indicator of consumption growth, went up 33.8 percent year on year to exceed 6.97 trillion yuan (about 1.07 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first two months of 2021, the National Bureau of Statistics said Monday.
The Jan.-Feb. figure represents a 6.4-percent growth compared with the level in the same period of 2019, as well as an annual average growth of 3.2 percent in the past two years.
Excluding auto consumption, retail sales went up 30.4 percent year on year in the Jan.-Feb. period to reach 6.3 trillion yuan.
Consumption in urban areas stood at about 6.06 trillion yuan, up 34.9 percent from a year earlier. The figure in rural areas went up 26.7 percent year on year to reach 918.5 billion yuan.
The catering industry reported a 68.9-percent increase in revenue, as the hardest-hit sector continued to recover from the COVID-19 impacts.
Meanwhile, a closer look at the data revealed that upgraded demand has pushed up the consumption growth. Sales of telecommunication equipment, and entertainment and sports products by major enterprises grew by 53.1 percent and 45.6 percent, respectively.
Online consumption remained a bright spot, with online retail sales rising 32.5 percent year on year to reach about 1.76 trillion yuan in the Jan.-Feb. period.
Online sales of physical commodities went up 30.6 percent year on year, accounting for 20.7 percent of total retail sales during the same period.