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China's big-ticket items spending, services consumption rise in Q1

Xinhua | April 22, 2024

People visit the fourth China International Consumer Products Expo in Haikou, capital city of south China's Hainan Province, April 13, 2024. (Xinhua/Guo Cheng)

Chinese consumers' spending on big-ticket items such as cars, home appliances, and furniture expanded while spending on services consumption rose quickly in the first quarter of this year, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Friday.

During the period, new car sales reached 6.72 million units in the country, up 10.6 percent year on year, with sales of new energy vehicles surging 31.8 percent, said Xu Xingfeng, director of the market operation and consumption promotion department of the MOC at a press conference in Beijing.

Xu said retail sales of building materials also reversed contractions seen at the end of last year and grew 2.4 percent in the first quarter.

"The per capita consumption expenditure on services increased by 12.7 percent year on year, accounting for 43.3 percent of the per capita consumption expenditure," Xu said, adding that the country's catering sector revenues reached 1.34 trillion yuan (188.61 billion U.S. dollars) in the period, up 10.8 percent.

The official said that the national online retail sales stood at 3.3 trillion yuan in the first quarter, up 12.4 percent, with online retail sales of physical goods valued at 2.8 trillion yuan, an increase of 11.6 percent.

Xu said the ministry has introduced measures this year to boost the trade-in of consumer goods, digital consumption, catering consumption, rural e-commerce, and recycling of renewable resources, adding that the ministry will also carry out more promotional activities to boost consumption of key items such as vehicles, home appliances, and furniture.