China's retail enterprises see strong sales in 2017
China's major retail enterprises enjoyed strong sales last year as the country's stabilizing economy spurred consumption, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Thursday.
Sales volume of 2,700 major retail enterprises surveyed rose by 4.6 percent year-on-year in 2017, up three percentage points from a year earlier, MOC spokesperson Gao Feng said during a press conference.
Sales volume through e-commerce last year increased by 26.8 percent year-on-year, up 3.2 percentage points from 2016, said Gao.
Profitability of retail enterprises improved in 2017 with operating profits of surveyed enterprises rising eight percent year-on-year, up 6.5 percentage points from 2016.
Booming retail sales are behind China's stabilizing economy, which grew by 6.9 percent in the first three quarters of 2017.
China is trying to shift its economy toward a growth model driven more by consumer spending, innovation and services while weaning it off over-reliance on exports and investment.
Gao predicted retail enterprises will see a booming year in 2018, supported by continued industry restructuring and upgrades as well as technological innovation.