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12.02.2019 15:36

China commerce ministry: consumption growth is “very likely” to slow further this year

“The medium- to long-term accumulated contradictions and risks throughout economic development are going to become more prominent in 2019. The pressure facing the consumer market will increase and consumption growth is very likely to slow further.” Wang Bin, a commerce ministry official told.

Wang said softness in retail sales last year, which saw growth averaging 9% for the slowest in 15 years, was due to “periodic” weakness in car sales and housing-related spending, though other categories continue to post “relatively normal” growth.

Retail sales growth during the just concluded Lunar New Year holidays slipped to its lowest since at least 2011, further evidence consumers remain cautious as the economy hits the brakes.

However, Wang cautioned against becoming overly gloomy on the retail sector, saying government policy support measures should cushion the downside.


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