China's retail sales in 2009 rose 15.5 percent year-on-year to 12.53 trillion yuan, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday.
Real (inflation-adjusted) retail sales growth was recorded at 16.9 percent in the year.
The real rise was 2.1 percentage points higher than that of a year earlier.
The December growth rate was 17.5 percent compared with the same period of the previous year.
For the whole year, urban retail sales increased 15.5 percent year-on-year to 8.51 trillion yuan, while those in counties and areas under county-level climbed 15.7 percent to 4.02 trillion yuan.
The government has put into place a basket of stimulus measures, including government subsidies and tax breaks for home appliances and cars, to expand consumption to sustain the economic growth, which was slowed by a slump in exports amid the global economic downturn.
Yao Jian, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce, said on Jan 15 that the government's stimulus packages had been effective in bolstering consumption. Consumption would make a bigger contribution to the economic growth in 2009, he said.
Auto sales in 2009 surged 46.15 percent to 13.64 million units, lifting China to the world top auto market, backed by halving the purchase tax to 5 percent on vehicles with a displacement of less than 1.6 liters in January last year.
The tax cut incentive has extended to this year, with purchase tax being raised to 7.5 percent, still lower effective as of January1 this year.
Xinhua contributed to the story
Editor: Zhang Ning | Source: China Daily