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Consumption spurs economic growth in H1

Updated: Aug 5,2016 3:52 PM

Consumption showed a steady growth in the first half of this year and played a bigger role in driving economic growth amid the slowdown in investment growth and sluggish export.

Consumption contributed 73.4 percent to the country’s economic growth in the first half of the year, up 13.2 percentage points compared to the figure for the same period last year, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the top economic planner.

In the first half of the year, the total retail sales of consumer goods stood at 15.61 trillion yuan ($2.2 trillion), registering an increase of 10.3 percent year-on-year, a grow rate almost the same level as the same period last year.

In addition, the consumption structure was further upgraded as the country strives to improve quality of products and services, with a national per capita expenditure on consumption of 8,211 yuan, an 8.8 percent increase year-on-year. While basic consumption in the fields of food and clothing saw a steady growth, expenditures on education, culture and entertainment as well as health care surged and accounted for a bigger share of the whole consumption.

Spending on housing and travel also grew steadily as measures promoting the use of the housing provident fund and the adjustment of the down payment for mortgage loans and house transaction fees kicked in. Housing sales skyrocketed by 42.1 percent in the same period.

While, measures to facilitate the transaction of second-hand cars and encourage the development of new energy vehicles promoted the growth in car sales, with new energy car sales climbing 126.9 percent.

Meanwhile, spending on services such as tourism, information, and entertainment continued to gain growth momentum. Domestic tourist number and revenue surged 10.5 and 13.7 percent, respectively. Also, mobile data stream in the first five months soared more than 124.7 percent and national box office revenue rose 21 percent in the first six months.

The integration of online-offline consumption also accelerated in the first half, highlighting the development of mobile payment, tele-education and online car rental. Online retail sales reached 2.24 trillion yuan, reporting a year-on-year growth of 28.2 percent.

The NDRC pledged to step up efforts to enhance consumption, including increasing the effective supply of consumer goods, encouraging enterprises to improve product quality and improving the overall consumption environment.