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Retail Sale in Beijing Keeps Double-digit Increase
The total retail sales volume in Beijing kept a double-digit growth in April in spite of the impact from severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), according to the Beijing Statistics Bureau.

The growth, however, was slower than in the first quarter of this year, the bureau's monthly figures showed.

The retail sales volume of consumer goods in Beijing reached 14.52 billion yuan (US$1.76 billion) in April, an increase of 14.6 percent compared with the same period of 2002.

The bureau said that the growth rate was about ten percentage points down from the previous three months.

In April, retail sales of food and clothing were, respectively, 3.65 billion yuan (US$4.4 million) and 1.35 billion yuan (US$1.63 million), similar to the figures for the same period of 2002. The retail sales of goods for daily use reached 8.96 billion RMB yuan (US$1.08 billion), an increase of 23.5 percent compared with the same period of 2002.

The retail sales for products related to SARS prevention saw a significant year-on-year rise. Chinese traditional medicines, cleansers, disinfectants, books, magazines, newspapers and communication tools were among the products contributing to the increase.

Affected by SARS in the month of April, Beijing restaurants experienced their first decline in the past three years. The retail sales volume of restaurants in Beijing for April was 830 million RMB yuan (US$100 million), four percent down from a year ago.

(Xinhua News Agency May 12, 2003)

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