China said on Sunday retail sales grew 12.9 percent in May from a year earlier, an envious gain from by global standards but below the government's full-year target at a time of worry in the country about the pace of economic growth.
May's retail sales rise compared with an increase of 12.8 percent increase in April and a government target of 14.5 percent for all of 2013. May export data post this weekend was below expectations.
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Domestic retailers and online shopping sites are engaging in a new round of price wars to woo consumers. But consumers seem increasingly skeptical, saying retailers expend more effort bragging rather than providing actual discounts.
Chinese consumer sentiment edged up last month, as unsatisfactory current conditions were offset by an im-provement in consumers' future expectations, a private report showed.
Shopping malls will surpass office and residential space as the most profitable type of property investment on the mainland over the next two to five years, thanks to the nation's booming middle class and its fast-growing income, says ARA Asset Management, a property investment firm partly owned by Li Ka-shing.
China's Fujian Provincial Economic and Trade Commission announced that by October 2013, they will encourage the building and renovation of 500 community convenience stores, including 100 in Fuzhou and ten in the Pingtan comprehensive experimental zone.
Once these convenience stores pass the acceptance phase, the provincial financial department will allocate a CNY20,000 (USD3255) subsidy to each convenience store.
China's e-commerce economy will grow nearly six times by 2020 as more retailers and vendors tap online shopping to lure consumers. The e-commerce economy - including online transactions and the e-commerce related service industry and information technology infrastructure - will reach CNY43.8 trillion yuan (USD7.1 trillion).
Although Business Monitor International (BMI) forecasts China’s real GDP to grow 7.5 percent in 2012 and 7.1 percent in 2013, which would be the economy’s worst performance since 1999, population expansion and increasing individual wealth are keys to ensuring substantial growth in China’s retail sales.
Chinese shoppers can look forward to greater buyer protection, including being granted "the right to regret", under an amendment to the 1994 consumer rights law currently under review.
Changes proposed in the draft will close loopholes, raise the cap on penalties for non-compliant firms and expand the reach of the law. The amendment, if approved, would help spur domestic consumption, a key policy objective of the central government over the next five years, industry participants said.
Local retailers are setting the pace in the Chinese grocery retailing market, according to market researcher Kantar Worldpanel.
Chinese retailers as a group continued their advance in modern grocery trade, growing from 71.9 percent to 72.3 percent collectively year on year, the market watcher said on Thursday.
As Beijing tries to engineer a crucial macroeconomic shift – toward more consumption and less investment, the crucial "rebalancing" China's new leadership is committed to, and the rest of the world is counting on – it is young consumers who may hold the key to the transition.
Raised in an era of unprecedented prosperity, many members of what is known as the "post-80s" generation (anyone born after 1980) have a very different answer than their parents when it comes to a central economic question: whether to spend the money they have, or save it?