China’s consumer spending gains steam in October

BEIJING, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) — China’s consumer spending continued to pick up pace in October amid the effective containment of the COVID-19 epidemic and steady economic recovery at home, official data showed Monday.

China’s retail sales of consumer goods climbed 4.3 percent year on year to 3.86 trillion yuan (about 584.5 billion U.S. dollars) last month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The growth picked up from the 3.3-percent gain in September after the major consumption gauge posted its first positive growth this year in August by rising 0.5 percent year on year.

Excluding auto consumption, retail sales went up 3.6 percent year on year last month.

Consumption in rural areas gained 5.1 percent, outpacing a rise of 4.2 percent in urban regions. The catering industry reported a 0.8-percent increase in revenue, the first expansion this year as the hardest-hit sector struggled to recover from the coronavirus impacts.

In the first 10 months, retail sales went down 5.9 percent year on year, with the decline narrowing by 1.3 percentage points from the drop in the first three quarters.

Online consumption remained a bright spot, with online retail sales rising 10.9 percent year on year in the January-October period. Online sales of physical commodities went up 16 percent year on year, accounting for 24.2 percent of total retail sales during the period.

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