China sees strong retail growth in November

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China?s official statistics bureau said retail sales for November grew by 13.9 per cent from a year ago, slightly lower than October?s 14.2 per cent but ahead of expectations.

Growth in retail sales for this year is on track to exceed 13 per cent, compared with just 9.1 per cent in 2003. Last year an outbreak of Sars hampered spending and slowed economic growth.

In a recent report CSFB, the investment bank, predicted that Chinese shoppers were likely to replace US consumers as the engine of growth in the global economy by 2014. It said the average incomes of young people in China were rising particularly fast.

The total value of China?s retail sales was US$554bn in 2003 and is forecast to exceed US$628bn this year, according to the Ministry of Commerce, with no sign of slowing down.

?We believe government policy is rebalancing demand within the Chinese economy from investment spending to consumption spending,? said Jonathan Garner, the global co-ordinator of China research at CSFB.

China?s central bank said Monday money supply had continued to expand, albeit at a slower pace than last year. The People?s Bank of China said November?s M2, the broad indicator for money supply, was up 14 per cent from a year earlier. Last year it increased 19.6 per cent.

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