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Retail sales of lodgings, catering set to hit 1.2 trillion yuan
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China's accommodation and catering retail sales are expected to reach 1.227 trillion yuan (164 billion US dollars) in 2007, up 18.6 percent on last year, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Commerce on Monday.


The first three quarters saw rapid growth of these sectors, which would maintain the momentum for the rest of the year as the four-month national overhaul would no doubt improve food safety and quality of service, said the ministry.


The campaign, launched in August, targeted farm produce, processed food, the catering sector, drugs, pork, imported and exported goods and products closely linked to human safety and health.


Over the first three quarters, sales were up 18.2 percent on last year to 886 billion yuan, accounting for 13.9 percent of the total consumer goods retail sales.


In September alone, sales reached 11.38 billion yuan, up 19.1 percent.


During the nine-month period, foreign investors set up 683 new accommodation and catering enterprises, down 15.1 percent while the contractual foreign funds increased by 13.6 percent to 2.42 billion US dollars, of which 600 million dollars was utilized, up 8.6 percent.


(Xinhua News Agency October 30, 2007)


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