China’s retail sales grew 10.7 per cent year on year to 4.8 trillion yuan ($779 billion) in the first two months of 2015, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday.
The rate slowed from the 12-per cent annual gain seen in 2014.
However, online retail sales continued to be a bright spot, surging 44.6 per cent year on year to 475.1 billion yuan.
To steer the economy onto a more sustainable track, the government has been at pains to drive more domestic consumption, rather than over-relying on investment and exports.
Consumption contributed 51.2 percent to GDP growth last year, three percentage points more than the previous year. China’s fixed-asset investment rose 13.9 per cent to 3.45 trillion yuan ($560.06 billion) year on year in the first two months in 2015.
Meanwhile, industrial output in China grew 6.8 per cent year on year in the first two months of 2015, down 1.1 percentage points compared to growth for December.
According to the NBS, economic data including industrial output, fixed asset investment, retail sales and property investment for January, together with data for February, were arranged for release in March to minimize distortions from the Lunar New Year holiday.
In a breakdown, the output of manufacturing rose 7.5 per cent during the first two months while the mining industry saw output grow 4.2 per cent;growth for electricity, heating, gas and water was 4 per cent.
Industrial output of state-owned and state-controlled enterprises saw 2.2 per cent growth year on year in the first two months, while that of joint stock companies expanded by 7.7 per cent. Industrial output of enterprises funded by overseas investors expanded by 4.9 per cent.
During the January-February period, industrial activity was the most robust in the central regions with a surge of 8.4 per cent, followed by 8 per cent in the western areas and 7.4 per cent in the more developed eastern regions; The northeastern regions saw output drop 0.6 per cent.
China uses industrial output, officially called industrial value added, to measure the activity of designated large enterprises, each with annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan ($3.25 million).