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Accommodation, catering retail sales up 25.2%
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China's accommodation and catering retail sales reached 112.2 billion yuan (US$16 billion) in April, up 25.2 percent over the same period of last year and accounting for 13.8 percent of the total consumer goods retail sales, statistics published by the Ministry of Commerce showed on Friday.

The April's growth was 6.8 percentage higher than that of the same month of last year. The ministry said the high monthly level was mainly attributed to food price rises and a low base of comparison.

Over the first four months, accommodation and catering retail sales were up 23.9 percent over the same period last year, reaching 408.9 billion yuan, which accounted for 14.3 percent of the total consumer goods retail sales.

During the four-month period, foreign investors have set up 229 new accommodation and catering enterprises, down 7.7 percent, and utilized $350 million up 30 percent.

Retail sales of catering enterprises with more than 40 workers and annual sales reached 134.7 billion yuan during the first four months, up 21.8 percent.

China's consumer price index (CPI) rose 8.5 percent year-on-year in April and food price soared 22.1 percent, 0.7 percentage points higher than that in March, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Monday.

(Xinhua News Agency May 17, 2008)

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