BEIJING: China's retail sales in October rose 16.2 percent year on year to 1.17 trillion yuan (171 billion US dollars), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced Wednesday.
The rise was 5.8 percentage points lower than that of a year earlier, but 0.7 percentage points higher than that in September, NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun said at a press conference.
The first 10 months saw a 15.3-percent growth in retail sales to 10.14 trillion yuan year on year. The rate was 6.7 percentage points down from the same period last year, and 0.2 percentage points up from the first nine months this year, Sheng said.
"The growth is really strong," said Hao Daming, analyst with China Galaxy Securities. "The rise is mainly backed by robust consumption in rural areas, and the property and auto sectors."
Hao expected retail sales would continue to pick up in the following months, and help accelerate economic growth.
The government put into place a series of stimulus measures to fuel consumption, including tax cuts for auto and property purchases and introduced subsidies for home appliances in rural areas, after a slump in exports dampened economic growth.
China's auto sales rose 72 percent year on year to 1.22 million units in October, bringing total sales to 10.89 million units from January to October, up 36.23 percent from a year ago, figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed.