China retail sales to increase 10.7 per cent

Beijing, December 17

China’s retail sales, a key gauge of domestic consumption, is likely to post slower growth this year compared with 2014, commerce ministry said.

Retail sales may expand around 10.7 per cent in 2015, Shen Danyang, spokesman at the Ministry of Commerce, told a news conference in Beijing today, without giving a reason. Retail sales rose 12 per cent last year.

In the first 11 months of 2015, retail sales grew 10.6 per cent from a year earlier. In November, retail sales increased by an annual 11.2 per cent — the strongest monthly expansion this year.

China’s external outlook remains gloomy. Chinese firms said global demand this year was worse than that during 2008-09 financial crisis, as per a recent survey by commerce ministry of more than 6,000 firms in 70 key industries.

Subdued external demand, rising costs, slowing investment growth and the yuan’s appreciation have all weighed on China’s trade performance this year, Shen said.

“Feedback from firms showed foreign trade was extremely difficult this year.”

China’s net exports are likely to contribute around 12.3 per cent to the increase in the country’s GDP this year, he said, citing data from a research unit under his ministry.

China’s trade remained weak in November with exports falling a worse-than-expected 6.8 per cent from a year earlier and imports tumbling 8.7 per cent.