BEIJING, Aug. 16 -- China's hotel and catering industry saw its retail sales rose 24.3 percent in the first seven months over the same period last year, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Friday.
The growth rate was 6.5 percentage points higher than the same period last year, said the MOC on its website.
Retail sales of the country's hotel and catering industry amounted to 837.49 billion yuan (about 120 billion U.S. dollars) between January and July, accounting for 14 percent of the nation's total domestic retail sales during the same period.
China's retail sales of consumer goods in the first seven months of this year was 5.9672 trillion yuan, up 21.7 percent, compared with 15.5 percent growth rate recorded over the same period of last year.
Foreign hotel and catering enterprises established 399 new branches in China during the January and July period, down 18.2 percent over the same period last year, while contract value rose 4.3 percent to 1.71 billion U.S. dollars.
The country's hotel and catering industry reaped 116.8 billion yuan in July alone, representing an increase of 26.5 percent over the same month last year, according to the MOC.