China's retail sales rose 15.9 percent year-on-year to 6.38 trillion yuan (US$851 billion) in the first nine months despite soaring consumer price index, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.
The growth rate of retail sales, a major gauge of consumer spending and an indicator of market movement, was 2.4 percentage points higher than the growth rate of the same period last year.
In September alone, retail sales expanded 17 percent year-on-year.
Analysts attributed the rise of retail sales to the increase of residents' disposable income as the income of both rural and urban residents rose more than 13 percent in the first nine months.
Retail sales in urban areas climbed 16.3 percent to 4.33 trillion yuan while in rural areas it increased 14.9 percent to reach 886 billion yuan.
Spending has contributed 37 percent to the GDP growth, but the proportion should be "still higher," said Zhuang Jian, senior economist with Asian Development Bank Resident Mission.
(Xinhua News Agency October 27, 2007)