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China's domestic consumption continues to recover

Updated: Jul 23,2021 16:50 PM    CGTN

In the first half of the year, the retail sales of social consumer goods were 21.2 trillion yuan, an increase of 23 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), adding that consumption's contribution to economic growth reached as high as 61.7 percent.

The retail sales of goods increased by 20.6 percent, of which automobiles, cosmetics and jewelry increased by 30.4 percent, 26.6 percent and 59.9 percent, respectively. The recovery of service consumption also has accelerated, with its proportion of household consumption expenditure increased by 3.2 percentage points to 52.5 percent. The catering sector has returned to the pre-COVID level, the ministry said.

New types of consumption, including online sales and 5G handset consumption, are booming. Online retail sales amounted to 6.1 trillion yuan, an increase of 23.2 percent, while 5G mobile phone shipments increased by 100.9 percent year-on-year in the first half of the year, according to the MOFCOM.

As a major part of China's consumption market, sales of automobiles reached 2.2 trillion yuan in the first half of this year, accounting for 13 percent of total retail sales.

Notably, the sales of green energy vehicles saw remarkable growth to 1.2 million, tripling the figure from the same period last year.

Zhu Xiaoliang, director of MOFCOM's Department of Market System Development, said the main indexes of the auto market from January to June have exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

"With the steady recovery of China's economy, promoting sales will bring strong support to the development of the automobile market," Zhu said. "But the short supply of chips and rising prices of raw materials will negatively affect the market. But overall, we believe the sales of automobiles in China for the whole year will have positive growth, turning around the continued sales decline over the past three years."

Zhu said China's ownership rate was the equivalent of 200 cars per 1,000 people by the end of June, and the country will take more measures to boost the consumption of the automobile market.