Local media report that China's retail sales will continue to accelerate over the next few years, thanks to the government's increasing emphasis on stimulating consumer demand.
Huang Hai, assistant minister of commerce, said the nation's retail sales, an important indicator for the consumption demand, will grow at an average annual rate of more than 11 per cent during the 11th Five-Year Plan period.
"By 2010, the country's retail sales will reach over 10 trillion yuan (US$1.2 trillion)," Huang was quoted yesterday as saying by Xinhua.
Earlier figures from the National Bureau of Statistics indicate that China's retail sales rose 12.9 per cent year-on-year to 6.7 trillion yuan (US$828.3 billion) last year.
Such a strong growth, fuelled mainly by rising household incomes and more stable consumer prices, is just what the government wants to see, said Qi Jingmei, a senior economist with the State Information Center.