China retail sales up 8.5% in May
China's retail sales of consumer goods grew 8.5 percent year on year to reach 3 trillion yuan (US$475 billion) in May, official data showed on Thursday.
The expansion slowed slightly from the 9.4-percent rise seen in April, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
In the first five months, China's retail sales of consumer goods grew 9.5 percent year on year, down 0.2 percentage points from the January-April period.
Sales in rural areas gained 9.6 percent in May, outpacing the growth of 8.3 percent in urban areas.
In breakdown, the catering sector reported a 8.8-percent year-on-year rise in revenues, while sales of other consumer products increased 8.4 percent.
Online spending continued to be robust, with sales surging 30.7 percent to reach 3.27 trillion yuan in the January-May period.
Consumption has been a key economic driver for China and contributed to 77.8 percent of economic growth in the first quarter, up from 58.8 percent in 2017.