Con­sump­tion to ac­count for big­ger share of na­tion’s econ­omy this year

China Daily - - BUSINESS - By JING SHUIYU jing­shuiyu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The na­tion will roll out mea­sures in 2019 to boost re­tail sales of con­sumer goods, as con­sump­tion is pre­dicted to play a greater role in the econ­omy.

The coun­try’s con­sump­tion has con­tin­ued its rapid as­cent, and would re­main the main driver of eco­nomic growth, the Min­istry of Com­merce said. It es­ti­mated that the coun­try’s re­tail sales would climb 9 per­cent year-on-year in 2019, con­tribut­ing some 65 per­cent to over­all eco­nomic ex­pan­sion.

Wang Bin, deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the min­istry’s depart­ment of mar­ket op­er­a­tion and con­sump­tion pro­mo­tion, said the min­istry will take a se­ries of steps to boost the con­sump­tion up­grade both in cities and the coun­try­side, of­fer more ser­vices and in­te­grate on­line and off­line channels.

In ru­ral mar­kets, the min­istry will con­tinue to drive the devel­op­ment of e-com­merce, en­cour­age new busi­ness mod­els and build com­mer­cial cen­ters, Wang said dur­ing the min­istry’s lat­est an­nual meet­ing.

In ur­ban ar­eas, the min­istry will speed up the re­newal of pedes­trian zones, vig­or­ously de­velop branded con­ve­nience store chains, and up­grade veg­etable mar­kets and other busi­ness out­lets, Wang said.

Last year, a num­ber of mea­sures were pi­loted in 11 pedes­trian zones, in­clud­ing Bei­jing’s Wang­fu­jing Street and Shang­hai’s Nan­jing Road. An­nual pas­sen­ger vol­ume in these re­newed pedes­trian zones is es­ti­mated to ex­ceed 1 bil­lion, said Zheng Wen, di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the min­istry’s depart­ment of cir­cu­la­tion in­dus­try devel­op­ment.

Zheng said the min­istry aims to cul­ti­vate about 50 pedes­trian zones into in­ter­na­tion­ally fa­mous ones.

The au­thor­i­ties have been mak- ing ef­forts to shift the econ­omy to­ward a growth model driven by con­sump­tion, ser­vices and in­no­va­tion.

Zhao Ping, a se­nior re­searcher at the China Coun­cil for the Pro­mo­tion of In­ter­na­tional Trade Academy, said: “China’s con­sump­tion will con­tinue its strong run and play a big­ger role in driv­ing qual­ity eco­nomic growth.”

Zhao said one im­por­tant en­gine will be con­sump­tion re­lated to the in­ter­net, which can of­fer in­no­va­tive ex­pe­ri­ences. Be­sides that, durable con­sumer goods with high-tech fea­tures have huge po­ten­tial, she added.

Last year, the coun­try’s re­tail sales of con­sumer goods have de­liv­ered stable growth with ro­bust on­line shop­ping.

In the first 11 months of 2018, re­tail sales grew 9.1 per­cent yearon-year to 34.51 tril­lion yuan ($5 tril­lion), ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics. On­line goods sales in­creased 24.1 per­cent year-on-year dur­ing the pe­riod.

The in­di­ca­tor grew 8.1 per­cent year-on-year in Novem­ber, slightly slower than the 8.6-per­cent rise in Oc­to­ber. NBS spokesper­son Mao Shengy­ong at­trib­uted the mild slow­down to re­treat­ing car pur­chases and fall­ing pe­tro­leum prod­uct prices.

China’s con­sump­tion will con­tinue its strong run and play a big­ger role in driv­ing qual­ity eco­nomic growth.” Zhao Ping, a se­nior re­searcher at the China Coun­cil for the Pro­mo­tion of In­ter­na­tional Trade Academy

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