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Repeats Story Initially Transmitted at 03:07 GMT Dec 14/22:07 EST Dec 13
     BEIJING (MNI) - China retail sales accelerated slightly in November, though
they fell slightly short of market expectations.
     According to data released Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics,
retail sales gained 10.2% year-over-year, 0.2 percentage point faster growth
than in October. The rise was lower than the 10.3% median prediction by 19
forecasters in an MNI survey.
     In the first eleven months of the year, retail sales rose 10.3%, the same
rate as in the January-to-October period.
     The retail sales gain was due to growth both in restaurant sales and goods
sales. Restaurant sales grew 10.0% on an annual basis to CNY367.5 billion,
slower than the 10.3% rate in October. Goods sales rose 10.2% to CNY3043.3
billion, higher than the 10.0% rate the month before. 
     Among goods subcategories, sales growth of oil and related products as well
as garments -- which contribute some of the largest volumes to overall sales --
accelerated by 2.2 and 1.5 percentage points, respectively. However, the growth
rate car sales, which is usually has the largest sales volume, fell 2.7
percentage points, partly because lower government tax incentives cause a
decline in sales of small-engine car, the China Passenger Car Association said
earlier this month.
     Telecommunication products posted the largest sales growth rate in November
at 33.9% followed by cosmetic products (21.4%), furniture (11.9%), and medicine
     Online retail sales were robust in November, especially during China's
"Single's Day Festival" on Nov. 11, the largest ecommerce sales day of the year.
From January to November, online sales were up 32.4% y/y to CNY6.4306 trillion,
thought this was lower than the 34.0% growth rate in January-October. 
     Sales of virtual products grew by more than 50% year-on-year, showing
Chinese consumption is trending toward higher-quality products, Ma Shenyong,
spokesman for the NBS said Thursday at a press conference. 
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email:
--MNI BEIJING Bureau; +1 202-371-2121; email: