The retail sales of China's lodging and catering industry reported a 14.2 percent year on year increase to 254.12 billion yuan (US$31.77 billion) in the first three months.
A source with the Ministry of Commerce said here Tuesday that the growth rate was 3 percentage points lower than that in the same period of 2005.
In the January-March period, the number of new overseas-invested lodging and catering enterprises stood at 220, a drop of 0.9 percent year on year, with the contractual use of foreign funds totaling 540 million dollars, up 7 percent.
Meanwhile, the actual use of foreign funds amounted to 180 million dollars, a rise of 75.4 percent, according to the source.
The retail sales of the sector came to 94.35 billion yuan, 82.57 billion yuan and 78.15 billion yuan in January, February and March, up 16.1 percent, 9.8 percent and 16.8 percent, respectively.
The ministry said the sector still enjoys a stable growth during the first three months, although the pace slowed down compared with the corresponding period of last year.
(Xinhua News Agency April 26, 2006)