China's retail sales growth slightly accelerated in May but was still below the government's target for 2013, suggesting subdued domestic demand, new data showed.
China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in an online statement that the retail sales grew 12.9% year on year to 1.89 trillion yuan about (306.8 billion US dollars) in May, picking up from the 12.8% rise seen in April, according to China's (Xinhua) News Agency.
The growth was slower than the 14.5% target the government expects for the full year.
In breakdown, the catering sector reported a 9.2% year-on-year rise in revenues, quickening from the 7.9% gain recorded in April, while sales of other consumer products increased 13.3%.
After being adjusted for inflation, retail sales went up 12.1% last month.
After years of rapid growth generated by investment and exports, China has been looking to shift the focus of its economy to consumption to boost growth.
Last year, consumption contributed to about 51.8% of China's GDP growth, while fixed-asset investment helped drive around 50.4%. Exports took up a negative 2.2% , the NBS data showed.