China: Retail sales up 21% on-year during national holiday

SHANGHAI: China’s retail sales were up 21 per cent year-on-year during the week-long national holiday, the commerce ministry said Monday.

Retail sales last week between September 29 and October 5 rose to 420 billion yuan (US$61.3 billion), a 21 per cent increase from 2007, it said in a statement.

The figure was five percentage points higher than the increase the ministry reported last year, due to strong demand for food products and surging tourist traffic, it said.

China introduced three annual “Golden Weeks” in 1999, also including the traditional Spring Festival early in the year and the May 1 Labour Day holiday.

The purpose was to lift the economy at a time when it was reeling from the impact of the Asian financial crisis.

The “Golden Weeks” are still seen by policy-makers as helpful in boosting consumption, still a relative weak engine of growth in China when compared with net exports and investment.

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