According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the total retail sales of consumer goods in January-February reached 6.6 trillion yuan, up 8.2% year on year, the same as that in December last year. After being adjusted for inflation, the actual growth rate was 7.1%, 0.5 percentage points higher than that of December last year. The total retail sales of consumer goods in February increased by 0.81% month on month.
The spokesman of MOFCOM Department of Market Operation and Consumption Promotion pointed out that the consumption market witnessed a stable beginning in 2019, laying a good foundation for the steady economic growth in the first quarter. The main features of the market are:
First, service consumption showed a strong momentum. Around the Spring Festival, such consumption like the New Year's Eve dinner, reunion dinner, family and friends dinner continued to be heated. In January-February, the national catering revenue was 725.1 billion yuan, up 9.7% year on year, 1.7 percentage points higher than that of the retail of goods. Trips of enjoying ice and snow in the north, enjoying warmth in the south, and traditional folk culture tourism were popular. According to the China Tourism Academy, the total number of tourists nationwide during the Spring Festival Golden Week exceeded 400 million, up 7.6% year on year, and the tourism revenue reached 513.9 billion yuan, up 8.3% year on year. In addition, culture and entertainment consumption and information consumption grew rapidly. During the Spring Festival Golden Week, the national box office reached 5.84 billion yuan, reaching a record high. The national mobile internet traffic volume increased by 130% year on year.
Second, the online retail sales of physical commodities grew rapidly. The online retail sales of physical commodities in January-February reached 1090.1 billion yuan, up 19.5% year on year, 11.3 percentage points higher than the total retail sales of consumer goods and accounting for 16.5% of the total retail sales of consumer goods, 1.6 percentage points higher than that of the same period last year. According to the statistics of the State Post Bureau, during the Spring Festival (January 21-February 10), the delivery service volume of the national post industry increased by 35% over the same period of the previous year.
Third, the consumption of cultural and stationaries, communication equipment, cosmetics and gold, silver and jewelry accelerated. In January-February, the sales of communication equipment, cultural and office supplies, cosmetics, gold and silver jewelry above designated size increased by 8.8%, 8.2%, 8.9% and 4.4% respectively, 12.8, 9.7, 7 and 2.1 percentage points higher than in the same period of the previous year respectively. The year-on-year growth rate of the sales of daily necessities and food was higher than the growth rate of total retail sales of consumer goods, which were 15.9% and 8.6% respectively.
Fourth, the consumption price rose mildly. In January-February, the CPI (consumer price index) increased by 1.6% year on year, 0.6 percentage points narrower than that of the same period last year. The price of edible agricultural products in January-February in 36 large and medium-sized cities monitored by MOFCOM fell by 0.8%% year on year and that in February fell by 1.8% year on year, ending the year-on-year upward trend for eight consecutive months.