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BEIJING - China's retail sales grew 14.8 percent year on year to 4.9319 trillion yuan ($783.03 billion) in the first quarter of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday.
After adjusting for inflation, the real growth rate came in at 10.9 percent, the NBS said.
Urban retail sales of consumer goods topped 4.27 trillion yuan in the first three months, up 14.9 percent year on year, while retail sales in rural areas rose 14.6 percent to 663.1 billion yuan from a year earlier, the NBS said.
Sales in the catering business rose 13.3 percent year-on-year to 542.7 billion yuan, while commodity retail sales grew 15 percent to 4.3892 trillion yuan.
The sales volume of residential houses dipped 14.6 percent year-on-year to 867.2 billion yuan, due to continued tightening of governmental property market controls.
"The contribution of consumption to GDP growth was 60.3 percent," said NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun, adding that indicated domestic demand playing an increasingly important role in the country's economic growth.
The new data showed the income of China's urban and rural residents continued to increase in the first quarter, with a per-capita income of 7,382 yuan.
Urban residents' per-capita disposable income reached 6,796 yuan, up 14 percent year-on-year. After deducting inflation, actual growth was 9.8 percent, according to Sheng.
The growth of per-capita cash income of rural residents hit 17 percent to reach 2,560 yuan. The actual growth after factoring in price adjustments was 12.7 percent, the spokesman said.
Sheng attributed the income growth to the country's stable economic development and good employment figures.
In the first three months, the number of rural employees working outside of their hometowns hit 163.71 million, up 3.4 percent from a year earlier, he said, adding that their monthly income averaged 2,173 yuan, up 16.6 percent.
The country's economy expanded 8.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2012, slowing from 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. The quarterly growth was the slowest in 11 quarters and undershot the market expectation of 8.3 to 8.5 percent.