BEIJING, Jun. 7 -- Monthly sales of home appliances in China's countryside surged 220 percent year-on-year in May, boosted by the government's rural subsidy program for home appliance purchases, the Ministry of Commerce said Monday.
The sales value soared to 12.6 billion yuan ($1.84 billion) in May, 26 percent higher than the April figure, said a statement on the ministry's website.
Sales volume topped 5.75 million units, up 160 percent year-on-year.
The May figure brought the total sales value in the first five months to 54.35 billion yuan, up 400 percent from year-on-year, the statement said.
China started the subsidy program in February last year to spur rural consumption to buoy the nation's economic growth amid the global economic downturn.
Farmers have received subsidies equal to 13 percent of the price of designated brands of refrigerators, TV sets, mobile phones, washing machines, computers, air conditioners, water heaters, microwave ovens and ovens.
In March, the government made another six items -- electric bikes, smoke exhaust ventilators, gas stoves, pressure cookers, electric cookers and DVD players -- eligible for the subsidy.