BEIJING — China’s consumer goods retail sales grew 10.6 percent year on year in August, accelerating from the 10.2-percent growth posted in July on the back of robust online sales.
Total retail sales of consumer goods amounted to 2.75 trillion yuan ($410.4 billion) last month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Sept 13.
The data showed strong consumption potential in rural areas, with retail sales expanding 10.9 percent, outpacing the 10.6-percent rate for sales in urban areas.
In the first eight months of the year, China’s retail sales of consumer goods rose 10.3 percent year on year to 21 trillion yuan.
From January to August, online sales surged 26.7 percent year on year to three trillion yuan.
Retail sales have contributed significantly to China’s economic growth as the country shifts from an export-driven economy to a consumer society.
In 2015, consumption contributed 66.4 percent to China’s GDP, up 15.4 percentage points from 2014.
To further tap market potential, China is exploring opportunities in its underdeveloped rural areas, as well as e-commerce, to boost sales.
Chinese online retailers, chief among them Alibaba and jd.com, have been expanding their service network and establishing physical outlets in rural areas, which are equipped with computers and products on display, to make online shopping more accessible to rural residents.