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China retail sales to maintain fast growth in 2017: report

Updated: Jul 3,2017 8:34 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s retail sales will continue to see growth of about 10 percent in 2017 thanks to the stabilizing economy and better policy support, an official report forecast on July 3.

Total value of online retail sales will grow by about 25 percent, much higher than growth rates for brick-and-mortar outlets, including shopping malls and supermarkets, according to the retail sector report made public by the Ministry of Commerce.

Clear improvement in the country’s economic performance was one of the major reasons behind the positive forecasts, the report said.

China’s economy grew 6.9 percent year on year in the first quarter, the fastest pace in six quarters.

Retail sales of consumer goods in the first five months of the year rose 10.3 percent, slightly down from 10.4 percent for 2016, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Facing booming online sales, traditional retail segments are now facing a better policy environment, as the government rolled out favorable guidelines in November 2016.

Last year, online retail sales surged 26.2 percent, compared with 7.7 percent growth in convenience stores and 7.4 percent in shopping malls.

“Due to rising rents and dropping profits, it has become an unstoppable trend for brick-and-mortar stores to become smaller and smaller,” the report said.

The ministry’s data showed that the number of retail companies rose 28 percent year on year to 2.45 million at the end of 2016.

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