BEIJING, Sept. 7 -- Sales of home appliances in China's countryside continued to grow rapidly in August, boosted by a rural subsidy program for Chinese rural buyers, according to figures released by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) here Tuesday.
Sales of home appliance covered by a rural subsidy program for Chinese farmers jumped 126 percent from a year ago to 17.12 billion yuan (2.52 billion U.S. dollars) in August, said a statement on the MOC website.
The annual sales growth in August was 7 percentage points faster than the July figure. About 16 billion yuan (2.36 billion U.S. dollars) worth of home appliances were sold in July.
The growth in August lifted the sales value of home appliances during the first eight months to 100.94 billion yuan (14.89 billion U.S. dollars), an increase of 2.1 times from the same period of last year.
The sales volume in the January-August period reached 46.36 million appliance units, up 160 percent year on year, according to the statement.
Refrigerators, televisions and air conditioners were the most popular appliances Chinese farmers bought in the period, said the statement.
China started the subsidy program in February 2009 to stimulate rural consumption and 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, televisions, mobile phones, washing machines, computers, air conditioners, water heaters, microwave ovens and traditional ovens.
Earlier this year, another six types of home appliances, including electric bikes, smoke exhaust ventilators, gas stoves, pressure cookers, electric cookers and DVD players, were added to the subsidy program.