China retail sales up 15.2 percent in May: govt

By AFP

July 15, 2010 Updated Jun 14, 2009 at 9:41 PM CDT

Chinese retail sales, the main gauge of consumer spending in the world's third largest economy, grew by 15.2 percent in May from the same month a year ago, the government has said.

The figure was an increase from 14.8 percent in April, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

China has been struggling to boost consumer spending as a way to mitigate the impact of the global financial crisis, which has reduced economic growth in the country to lows not seen in nearly a generation.

The World Bank has forecast growth of 6.5 percent in 2009, which would be China's lowest growth rate since 1990.

In the first four months of 2009, retail sales expanded by 15 percent compared with the same period in 2008, the National Bureau of Statistics has said previously.

For all of last year, retail sales were up 21.6 percent.

The government also said Friday that China's industrial output rose 8.9 percent in May from a year earlier.

The figure was up from 7.3 percent in April and also surpassed the 8.3 percent seen in March.

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