China's domestic trade was brisk in 2006. Total retail sales of consumer goods reached 7.641 trillion yuan, growing 13.7 percent year on year. They included 5.1543 trillion yuan in cities, up 14.3 percent, and 2.4867 trillion yuan in rural areas at and below county level, up 12.6 percent. Sales of the wholesale and retail sector were 432.6 billion yuan, up 13.7 percent; those of the accommodation and catering sector was 1.0345 trillion yuan, up 16.4 percent; and those of other sectors were 173.9 billion yuan, up 2.3 percent.
A chef with Beijing Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant prepares the table for guests. It's quite common for Chinese to frequent restaurants with friends today.
Of total retail sales by wholesale enterprises with annual sales exceeding 20 million yuan and retail enterprises with annual sales exceeding 5 million yuan, sales of motor vehicles shot up 26.3 percent; petroleum and related products, up 36.2 percent; stationery and office goods, up 14.5 percent; telecommunications equipment, up 22 percent; electric and electronic appliances for household use and stereo systems, up 19.2 percent; building and decoration materials, up 24 percent; daily necessities, up 15.7 percent; furniture, up 21.3 percent; food, beverages, tobacco and liquor, up 15.5 percent; clothing, up 19.2 percent; cosmetics, up 18.6 percent; and gold, silver and jewelry, up 28.5 percent.
The rapid increase in total retail sales of consumer goods should be largely attributed to the government's policy of boosting domestic demand and adjusting investment-consumption relationship. In 2006, the government paid close attention to optimizing the income distribution structure, with the aim of raising earnings of low-paid families, gradually expanding the middle-income class and increasing farmers' income. These measures greatly enhanced the consumer confidence and drove up domestic trade.