SHANGHAI — Total retail sales of consumer goods in China climbed 9.5 percent to 5.80 trillion yuan, or $838 billion, in the first two months of 2017, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
That increase was 1.4 percentage points lower than in December last year. It was 0.7 percentage points lower than that the corresponding period in 2016.
Real growth was 8.1 percent after deducting price factors.
Online retail sales totaled 858 billion yuan, or $124.3 billion, 31.9 percent higher than the corresponding period last year. Retail sales of sports and recreational articles went up by 19.5 percent, according to the data.
“In the first two months, main indicators of the Chinese economy registered positive changes and economic performance kept improving. The overall economy sustained steady performance and good growth momentum from the second half of last year,” the National Bureau of Statistics said.
In January and February, industrial production accelerated 6.3 percent year-over-year at comparable prices. The figure was 0.3 percentage points higher than in December last year, and 0.9 percentage points higher than the corresponding period in 2016.
“We’ve seen a real rebound in manufacturing and in exports, as economies in countries that import from China improve. This is going to continue to be good for China’s exporters and manufacturers this year,” said Benjamin Cavender, principal at China Market Research Group.
“Meanwhile, we did see a slowdown in retail growth, but overall it’s still holding up pretty well, so I think we are in a scenario where the economy is staying fairly resilient and should continue to do so for the rest of the year.”