China retail sales up 14.8 per cent in April

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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SHANGHAI, China - China's retail sales jumped 14.8 per cent in April from a year earlier, the government said Wednesday, as stimulus spending helped support domestic demand.
But the data released by the National Statistics Bureau also showed industrial output rising only 7.3 per cent, lower than expected and much slower than the 8.3 per cent growth seen in March.
The mixed signals were typical of the data for April, which had been expected to show improvement after signs of a nascent recovery in some parts of the economy, despite continued weakness in the export sector.
Any recovery remains dependant on improved global conditions, despite government efforts to boost public confidence and persuade consumers and companies to spend.
The government vowed to do more to encourage trade after exports fell 22.6 per cent in April from a year before.
About a quarter of China's manufacturing capacity is idle thanks to the global slowdown, according to some estimates, and more than 20 million people have lost their jobs as a result.
But Chinese shoppers are still buying.
Retail sales in April totalled 934.3 billion yuan (US$136.8 billion), the statistics bureau reported.
It noted that urban retail sales, which rose 13.9 per cent, were outpaced by sales in the vast countryside, which expanded 16.7 per cent.
Demand was strongest for food, clothing, autos and housing decoration materials, it said.

Organizations: National Statistics Bureau

Geographic location: China, SHANGHAI

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