Retail industry to see steady growth

Updated: 2013-07-05 07:21

By Li Jiabao (China Daily)

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Retail industry to see steady growth

Shoppers choose vegetables at a supermarket in Huaibei, Anhui province. China aims for 15 percent annual growth in retail sales to reach a value of 32 trillion yuan ($5.22 trillion) in 2015, compared with 18.12 trillion yuan in 2011. Xie Zhengyi / For China Daily

Despite China's slowing economic growth, the retail industry in the world's second-largest economy will maintain sustainable growth in the medium and long term, commerce officials said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the industry is undergoing a transformation and the government will make more efforts to enhance its quality and efficiency and to optimize its structure.

"Following the restructuring process of the economic growth model, the improvement of the consumption structure, the advancing urbanization, and especially the development of e-commerce, China's retail industry in the remainder of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) will keep steady growth," Wang Desheng, deputy director of the department of circulation industry development at the Ministry of Commerce, told a news conference on Thursday.

Guo Geping, president of the China Chain Store & Franchise Association, echoed that view and said that the country's retail industry will maintain "sustainable and rigid" growth in the medium and long term, driven by a huge market.

"The future development of the industry will focus on innovation, structural optimization and enhancements in quality and efficiency," Wang said. "The retail industry will see faster transformation and upgrading, including the integration of online and offline retail channels, mergers across regions and brand building."

China's retail sales increased 12.6 percent year-on-year from January to May, a pace slower than the 14.3 percent growth seen in 2012 or the 17.1 percent increase in 2011, according to the ministry.

The central government outlined that the country's retail sales will grow 15 percent annually to 32 trillion yuan ($5.22 trillion) in 2015 from 18.12 trillion yuan in 2011.

Meanwhile, the new leadership of the world's second-largest economy vowed to shift economic growth from the export- and investment-driven model to a consumption-supported one, which is more sustainable, and is showing more tolerance for the economic slowdown. China's GDP growth eased to 7.7 percent in the first quarter of the year from 7.9 percent in the last quarter of 2012.

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