China's consumer spending has made a significant contribution to economic growth in the first nine months this year, contributing 83.2 percent to the economic growth in the period, with service consumption being a crucial component of the growth and providing essential support to the overall economic recovery, an official said on Wednesday.
Total retail sales of consumer goods stood at 34.21 trillion yuan ($4.68 trillion) from January to September, with a year-on-year growth of 6.8 percent, said Sheng Laiyun, deputy head of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), at a press conference introducing China's economic performance in the first three quarters.
In September, total retail sales of consumer goods increased by 5.5 percent year-on-year, accelerating by 0.9 percentage points compared to August and marking the second consecutive month of acceleration. On a month-on-month basis, it grew by 0.02 percent.
As a bright spot of the overall consumer spending, service retail sales have surged by 18.9 percent. Last year, the service sector was significantly impacted by the pandemic. As the economy returns to normal this year, the service sector, particularly in-person services, has seen the most substantial gains. With a strong increase in travel and booming dining industry, services consumption are now experiencing a rapid rebound, Sheng said.
According to data released by the data center of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the recently concluded 8-day Golden Week (September 29 - October 6) saw a total of 826 million domestic tourists, marking a remarkable year-on-year increase of 71.3 percent, and a 4.1 percent growth compared to the same period of 2019.
As another key indicator, the per capita service consumption expenditure of residents increased by 14.2 percent year-on-year, accounting for 46.1 percent of overall per capita consumption expenditure, NBS data showed.
It shows that, as the economy returns to normalcy and benefits from a series of policies aimed at boosting growth, China's consumer sector, particularly services consumption, is showing a robust recovery, Sheng noted.
China's economy grew by 4.9 percent year-on-year between July and September, and expanded by 5.2 percent in the first three quarters.