BEIJING, Mar. 4 -- The 100 key retailing enterprises in China clinched 34.56 billion yuan (5.06 billion U.S. dollars) worth of sales in January, down 7.11 percent year-on-year, according to statistics released Wednesday.
In a statement posted on the website of Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the ministry said that the drop from the previous year was mainly because the country's Spring Festival shopping spree last year was in January, making the comparison base very large.
Retail sales of the 100 enterprises in January increased 10.03 percent compared to December 2009, faster than the 3.76 percent growth rate in 2007 during the same period, but lower than the 13.12 percent growth rate in 2008.
In breakdown, food sales in January fell 17.44 percent year-on-year, sales of articles of everyday use slid 5.69 percent, while sales of garments and cosmetics dropped less than 2 percent.
However, in January, sales of jewelry, home appliances and furnishings increased 1.91 percent, 6.29 percent and 7.49 percent respectively, driven by shopping binges for Lunar New Year's gifts among other things, according to the statement.