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December 19, 2009

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Retailers report increasing sales

MAJOR retailers in China reported that sales last month continued to grow strongly thanks to a brisk demand for vehicles, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said yesterday.

The ministry tracked the performance of 50 retailers and found sales jumped 28.4 percent from a year earlier to 17.4 billion yuan (US$2.54 billion) in November.

The pace was below October's record 35.71 percent when promotions during the National Day holiday stimulated people's appetite for big-ticket items.

Auto sales soared 97.3 percent in November while food saw a 36.3-percent increase.

China has extended its stimulus package to boost domestic consumption. Policy makers said the country would continue to offer subsidies for buyers of fuel-efficient cars and for people to trade in home appliances.

The government announced earlier this week that buyers who updated mobile phones could also get a discount of up to 10 percent, adding to the "old-for-new" program which bolsters the sale of air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, television sets and computers.

The program, launched in September, has boosted sales of these home appliances, which topped 10 billion yuan in the past four months, the ministry said.

China's total retail sales in November were 15 percent more than a year earlier at 1.13 trillion yuan, less than October's 16.2 percent but still indicative of fast expansion.


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