Golden week holiday lifts retail sales

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 June, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 June, 2002, 12:00am

China's retail sales last month rose 9.3 per cent from a year earlier, the strongest monthly performance this year.

The growth was partly due to a surge in travel spending during the week-long Labour Day holiday early last month, according to the State Statistical Bureau.

Retail sales for the month were 320.2 billion yuan (about HK$300 billion), the bureau said.

It did not give a figure for the January to May period, but a bureau official told Reuters that sales rose a year on year 8.6 per cent to 1.63 trillion yuan in the first five months. This compared with 8.4 per cent growth in the four-month period.

In April, retail sales rose 8.2 per cent year on year in line with expectations. Retail sales growth for the whole of last year was 10.1 per cent.

Many exhibitions were held during the 'golden week' holiday, which also encouraged sales, the bureau said.

Sales in the tourism sector grew 14.9 per cent in the holiday week compared with the same week a year earlier.

Buyers spent more on car purchases last month, attracted by new models and discounted prices.

Sales of televisions and air-conditioners increased during the month due to World Cup football fever and the hot weather.

Toy sales shot up 17.6 per cent as consumers spent before the June 1 'Children's Day' festival, the bureau said.

Analysts said retail sales would sustain steady growth this year in light of the improved export growth and industrial output.

Exports rose 18.4 per cent last month to US$24.64 billion, while imports grew 19.3 per cent from a year earlier to US$22.44 billion, Xinhua reported, quoting customs figures.

The trade surplus stood at US$2.2 billion, up 10 per cent year on year.

Industrial production, bolstered by the strong exports, posted its best growth in more than three years last month, with a 12.9 per cent rise from a year earlier to 261.7 billion yuan.