December 22, 2018 / 2:14 PM / 5 months ago

China retail sales to grow nine percent next year: state media

A Chinese national flag flies in front of Parliament House before a welcome ceremony for China's President Xi Jinping, ahead of the APEC Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea November 16, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s retail sales are expected to grow by 9 percent next year, a senior Commerce Ministry official was quoted as saying on Saturday citing forecasts from “relevant research agencies”.

Wang Bin, the ministry’s deputy director of market operations, said the growth in retail sales is forecast to make up some 65 percent of China’s total economic expansion next year, China National Radio said.

Retail sales increased 9.1 percent from January to November compared to the same period last year, but have trended weaker in recent months. Retail sales in November grew 8.1 percent from a year earlier, missing forecasts of 8.8 per cent.

China’s total imports in 2018 are expected to exceed $2 trillion, the China National Radio report quoted Song Xianmao, deputy director of foreign trade, as saying.

Reporting by Philip Wen and Hallie Gu; Editing by Alexander Smith

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