BEIJING, Dec. 22 -- China's retail sales had broken the 10-trillion-yuan (1.5 trillion U.S. dollars) mark for the first time by the middle of this month, the Ministry of Commerce said on Monday.
In a statement posted on its website, the ministry said the country's retail sales for the entire 2008 is expected to reach 10.8 trillion yuan, jumping around 21 percent from the year-earlier level.
"Despite the negative impact of the global financial crisis on the domestic market, retail sales will continue to grow as Christmas and the New Year approach," it said.
According to earlier figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics, China's retail sales in the year to November rose 21.9percent annually to 9.78 trillion yuan.
The Ministry of Commerce said China's retail sales had risen quickly over the past three decades. The retail sales was merely 155.9 billion yuan in 1978. It jumped to 1.1 trillion yuan in 1992,5 trillion yuan in 2003 and 8.9 trillion yuan in 2007.