China sees 2011-15 retail sales growth target as achievable
BEIJING Dec 9 (Reuters) - China is on track to achieve its target of boosting retail sales by an annual average 14 percent between 2011 and 2015, even amid a modest slowdown in growth this year, Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said in remarks published on Monday.
Retail sales are likely to grow 13 percent in 2013, slowing from the annual average rise of 15.7 percent in the previous two years, due to weaker household incomes and a crackdown on official extravagance, Gao said in comments published on the ministry's website, www.mofcom.gov.cn.
"The economy will maintain steady growth, income distribution, social security systems and the long-term mechanism for expanding consumption will improve, which will help unleash the huge potential of China's consumption," Gao said.
Consumption will be boosted by strong demand for health-care services for the elderly, leisure, tourism and sales of energy-saving appliances, smart phones and tablet PCs, Gao said.
He expects China's retail sales, a key gauge of domestic consumption, to top 50 trillion yuan ($8.22 trillion) by 2020, with the final consumption rate, or the share of consumption in gross domestic product, hitting 55 percent.
($1 = 6.0817 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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