BEIJING, Sept. 11 -- China's retail sales grew 15.4 percent in August to 1,011.6 billion yuan (148.1 billion U.S. dollars) year on year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Friday.
The growth rate was 7.8 percentage points lower than that in August last year, but 0.2 percentage points higher than July.
The country's retail sales in the first eight months of this year rose 15.1 percent to 7,876.3 billion yuan from the same period a year earlier.
The growth rate was 6.8 percentage points lower than the same period last year, but 0.1 percentage point higher than the first seven months.
In August, urban sales of consumer goods rose 15.3 percent to 693.5 billion yuan, while sales in rural areas were up 15.5 percent to 318.1 billion yuan.
The sales volume of the wholesale and retail sectors rose 15.4 percent to 849.5 billion yuan. Hotel and catering sectors rose 16.8 percent to 145.4 billion yuan. Other industries posted an overall growth of 2.8 percent to 16.7 billion yuan.
Sales of grain and oil products were up 12.7 percent, meat, poultry and eggs were up 5.9 percent, garments 23.3 percent, daily necessities 15.6 percent, petroleum and petroleum products 6.8 percent, automobiles 34.8 percent, and construction materials 36.6 percent.
The growth rate in August was 0.2 percentage points higher than July's figure, which was pushed up by strong sales growth in automobile and real estate markets, said Liu Li, an analyst with the Shanghai Securities Co., Ltd.