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October 23, 2009

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Stimulus moves spur retail sales

CHINA'S retail sales rose 15.1 percent on an annual basis in the first three quarters of this year, bolstered by the government's stimulus policies that spurred domestic demand.

After deducting for price changes, retail sales rose 17 percent to 8.97 trillion yuan (US$1.31 trillion). The increase was 2.8 percentage points higher than that in the same period a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

"Fast growth in retail is a key factor that drives China's economy to recover," said Li Xiaochao, spokesman for the bureau.

Retail sales in urban areas climbed 14.8 percent to 6.1 trillion yuan and other areas posted a 16-percent increase to 2.87 trillion yuan during the nine-month period.

Last month, retail sales grew 15.5 percent from a year earlier, faster than a 15.4-percent increase in August and 15.2 percent growth in July.

Vehicle sales gained 24.5 percent and household appliances sales surged 32.2 percent and they were responsible for the faster rise in retail sales in the first three quarters, the bureau said.

"The rising sales of apartments drove consumers to spend more in household appliance, which spurred retail sales," said Zhu Jianfang, an analyst at Citic Securities. Zhu forecasts retail sales for the whole year will grow 16 percent.

Auto sales soared to a record high of 77.9 percent last month on an annual basis.


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