China forges ahead with consumption upgrading
CHONGQING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- China's consumption is expected to maintain solid growth momentum in 2019, signaling its key role in the country's economic development, according to statistics.
Goods consumption has gained 9.0 percent from a year ago in 2018 to 38 trillion yuan (5.66 trillion U. S. dollars), serving as the biggest growth driver, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Local governments have formulated policies to further boost domestic demand by setting targets and action plans.
Although faced with downward pressure in economic growth last year, southwest China's Chongqing Municipality set a GDP growth rate of 6 percent for 2019.
"Chongqing's goods consumption is expected to grow 7 percent in 2019, with the CPI rise to be kept at around 3 percent," Mayor Tang Liangzhi said in the city government work report at the annual session of the municipal people's congress on Sunday.
The municipal government plans to stabilize consumption of automobiles and general merchandise, stepping up efforts to build the metropolis into a global shopping center.
Anhui and Sichuan provinces aim to realize 11 percent and 10 percent growth, respectively, in retail sales of consumer goods this year. The target is 13 percent for Tibet Autonomous Region.
Chinese consumers pay increasing attention to the quality of goods. At the annual sessions of provincial-level legislatures in January, local governments have made it an important agenda to ensure the supply of high-quality goods and services.
From the signals sent by local legislative sessions, innovation in goods and services will be accelerated and more consumption areas will be created, said Zhao Ping from the research department of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
The trend of consumption upgrading is expected in China this year, she added.