File photo shows people visit the 17th China Changchun International Automobile Expo in Changchun, northeast China's Jilin Province, July 13, 2020. China's auto market maintained recovery momentum in June, with total output up by 22.5 percent year on year and sales up 11.6 percent, according to the data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. (Xinhua/Zhang Nan)
BEIJING, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese consumers stepped up their spending in September, a sign of an economic recovery gathering strength amid the effective containment of the COVID-19 epidemic at home.
Retail sales of consumer goods climbed 3.3 percent year on year in September, with the growth further picking up after the major consumption gauge posted its first positive growth this year in August by rising 0.5 percent year on year, according to data released Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The indicator rose 0.9 percent year on year in the third quarter of the year, the first positive quarterly growth this year.
The value of auto sales increased 11.2 percent year on year in September, maintaining double-digit growth for three consecutive months. Wen Bin, a chief analyst at China Minsheng Bank, said auto sales have provided a major boost to consumer sales.
Consumer spending contributed 1.7 percentage points to Q3 economic growth, which expanded 4.9 percent year on year, NBS spokesperson Liu Aihua told a press conference. That compared with a 2.3-percent drag on growth in Q2.
In the first three quarters, retail sales of consumer goods went down 7.2 percent year on year to 27.33 trillion yuan (about 4.08 trillion U.S. dollars), with the decline narrowing by 4.2 percentage points from the first half of the year.
Notably, online spending grew 9.7 percent for the January-September period, accelerating from the 7.3-percent rise registered in the first half. Online sales of physical goods, which account for 24.3 percent of the total retail sales, surged 15.3 percent from one year earlier. ■