China's Retail Sales Continue Broader Rally

Source: Xinhua | 2023-05-26 11:49

China's retail sales of consumer goods, a major indicator of the country's consumption strength, continued to see accelerated growth in April, as consumers were more willing to spend.

The country's retail sales of consumer goods surged 18.4 percent year on year in April, 7.8 percentage points higher than that of March, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Tuesday.

Between January and April, the country's retail sales of consumer goods increased 8.5 percent year on year to top 14.98 trillion yuan (about 2.16 trillion U.S. dollars), according to the NBS.

"With the consumption scenarios restoring orderly, people exhibited an increasing propensity to consume, and service-related consumption demonstrated a particularly evident boost," NBS spokesperson Fu Linghui told a press conference.

Contact-based service consumption registered fast expansion in April, with shopping, dining out, tourism, and movie-watching activities ballooning, according to Fu. The catering sector saw its revenue climb by 43.8 percent from last year April.

The trend of consumption upgrading extended, with the retail sales of cosmetics goods, gold, silver, and jewelry, as well as sports and entertainment goods, all hiking over 20 percent in April from the same period last year, Fu said.

Also, retail sales at brick-and-mortar and online stores improved, Fu added. In the first four months, online sales of physical goods gained 10.4 percent year on year, while retail sales at department stores went up 11.1 percent from the same period in 2022.

Spending on cultural and tourism products, trending internet products, and products sold through live-streaming came as bright spots of China's consumption revival.

"The consumption recovery is still in the primary stage, and there is room for the improvement of consumption power and people's willingness to spend money," Fu said.

He cited factors such as a better employment situation this year, which will increase the income of urban and rural residents and strengthen their spending power, and more significant underpinnings for the consumption uptick prompted by the orderly restoration of consumption scenarios.

China will expand domestic demand in 2023, prioritizing the recovery and expansion of consumption, according to this year's government work report.

Supportive measures have been rolled out nationwide. These measures include launching consumption promotion festivals and issuing vouchers for automobile purchases.