China's retail businesses saw a robust gain in sales in the first half of the year, a government report showed Monday, largely due to the country's efforts to boost domestic consumption.
According to data compiled by the China Securities Regulatory Commission, 86.8 percent of the total 76 retail companies listed on China's bourses, or 66 companies, saw positive sales growth in the January-June period. China operates two bourses: the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE).
Among the listed retail firms, 23 registered growth of more than 50 percent.
Li Daxiao, an analyst at Yingda Securities, said consumption has been steadily increasing in China, thanks to the government policies to encourage domestic consumption.
The world's No. 2 economy has been moving toward adopting policies intended to increase domestic consumption and cut its heavy reliance on exports. The shift in the growth policy is also aimed at reducing the income and consumption disparity, which has widened despite the country's breakneck economic growth.
Analysts also cited the rapid economic growth recently seen in China's less explored western region, including provinces such as Anhui, Hubei, Chongqing, Sichuan and Liaoning.
The country's retail sales are expected to grow at a faster pace in the second half of the year as Chinese consumers' spending is likely to surge during China's public holidays, such as Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day.
Tax cuts introduced this month will also likely push the consumption in the low and mid-income levels. Starting from September, China raised the minimum personal income required to pay taxes from 2,000 yuan (US$300) a month to 3,500 yuan, reducing the number of people who have to pay personal income tax from 84 million to 24 million.