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China's social consumption poised for strong rebound in 2021

By Liu Zhihua | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-11-27 17:12

Tourists shop at a duty-free shopping mall in Sanya, South China's Hainan province, on March 12, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

As domestic consumption recovery accelerates and new measures to expand the consumption are on the way, China's social consumption is expected to have a strong rebound in 2021, according to officials from the Ministry of Commerce on Friday.

Despite the impact of COVID-19 in the first quarter, the country's social consumption, especially that in commodities and key sectors such as automobiles, home appliances and catering, has been on stable recovery in recent months, as the country's strict prevention and control measures on the disease took effect, said Wang Binnan, vice-minister of commerce.

In October, retail sales climbed 4.3 percent year-on-year, up 1 percentage point from the 3.3-percent gain in September, and also another positive reading in a row of three months.

Although retail dropped 5.9 percent on a yearly basis during the January-October period, the decline was 5.5 percentage points less than that of the first half of the year.

Sales in automobiles surged 12 percent in October year-on-year, registering another round of double-digit growth for four concessive months.

The catering consumption also registered year-on-year growth of 0.8 percent in October, the first positive growth in the year.

Sales in home appliances and furniture expanded 3.2 percent and 1.9 percent in October from September, respectively, and the figure for construction materials was 3.7 percent.

Rural consumption also increased 5.1 percent year-on-year, up 1.1 percentage points from that in September.

Wang Bin, deputy director-general of the ministry's department of market operations and consumption promotion, said domestic consumption has stable fundamentals and will stably expanded, as the Chinese economy has become stabilized with an upward impetus.

Projected to be the only major economy with positive growth in the year, China has seen new consumption forms emerging and progressing, which support consumption upgrade and inject new momentum into consumption expansion, he said, adding examples of new models that integrate online and offline consumption.

Wang, the vice-minister, said China will introduce new measures to boost consumption, especially in commodities and key sectors such as automobiles, home appliances, furniture, construction materials and catering, as well as tap into rural consumption potential.

Great support will be given to expand automobile consumption, including adjusting restrictive measures on automobile purchases, stimulating the second-hand automobile market, and promote the use of new energy vehicles.

Measures also will be rolled out to promote consumption in home appliances, catering and other sectors, he said.

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