The latest figures from the Ministry of Commerce have shown that China's retail sale of consumer goods has now experienced double-digit growth for 14 consecutive years.
China's retail sale of consumer goods in 2017 reached 36.6 trillion yuan, or 5.8 trillion U.S. dollars, which represents a 10.2% year- on-year increase.
"The average annual growth rate of the retail sale of consumer goods in China from 2013 to 2017 was 11.3%, which is 3.2 percentage points larger than the country's GDP growth rate during the same period. Online retail sales of physical goods were valued at 5.5 trillion yuan. This is an increase of 28%, and accounts for 15% of total retail sales of consumer goods, and is 2.4% higher than the previous year," said Gao Feng, spokesperson from China's Ministry of Commerce.
Consumption contributed 58.8% of China's economic expansion in 2017.
The value of China's domestic trade in 2017 surpassed 10 trillion yuan for the first time, and accounted for 13% of the total GDP volume.
Growth was focused in tertiary industries such as wholesale, retail, accommodation, and catering.
The booming domestic trade significantly boosted the country's employment.
"By the end of 2017, China's domestic trade created more than 190 million jobs, rising by 10% year-on-year, accounting for nearly a quarter of the country's total employment, as well as more than half of the number of jobs in tertiary industries. Domestic trade has become an important area to attract people seeking job opportunities," said Gao Feng.
The tax paid by the country's wholesale and retail sectors in 2017 also increased by 20%, and made up nearly 25% of the total growth in tax payments.
Experts predicted that the country's domestic trade will keep growing steadily this year.
"I think China's consumption for this year may keep growing by 10% in a relatively stable way, as the country is already enjoying a much bigger market size. Although it may be difficult for China to keep scoring a double-digit growth, the country's consumer market will be of greater significance to the whole world," said Dong Chao, an expert from the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under China's Ministry of Commerce.