(Yicai Global) Feb. 1 -- The contribution of consumption to China's economic growth reached 76.2 percent last year, which was 18.6 percentage points higher than in 2017.
It has thus become the greatest engine driving China's economic growth for five years in a row, China's Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said yesterday.
Total retail sales of China's consumer goods reached CNY38.1 trillion (USD5.7 trillion) last year, up 9 percent over 2017, and holding to a relatively stable and rapid upward trajectory.
Consumption of services was 44.2 percent of per capita disposable expenditures, up 1.6 percentage points.
Online physical merchandise retail sales made up 18.4 percent of the tota, 3.4 percentage points up from 2017, Gao told a routine press conference yesterday.
China's domestic trade stayed generally stable and with fast growth last year, with a steadily expanding scale and continuously optimizing structure, which provided strong support to the economy's even growth and advancement of its high-quality development, he stressed.
The added value in domestic trade reached CNY11.7 trillion, or 13 percent of gross domestic product, second only to that of manufacturing, official statistics show. The value added in the wholesale and retail sector was CNY8.4 trillion, climbing 6.2 percent, while that in accommodation and catering was CNY1.6 trillion, rising by 6.5 percent.
The domestic trade offered job opportunities for 208 million Chinese by last year's end, growing 8.5 percent on the figure for 2017 and employing about one-fourth of the country's total workforce.
The number of those employed in the wholesale and retail sectors was 153 million, up 8.6 percent from 2017, while 32 million had jobs in accommodation and catering in an annual increase of 8.6.
Wholesale, retail, accommodation and catering also contributed CNY2.4 trillion to tax income, climbing 11.9 percent.
The growth of tax from this source was 2.8 percentage points higher than the total amount of domestic tax income, while its contribution to the rise in tax income hit 18.2 percent.
Editor: Ben Armour