China's retail market is booming. The nation has become the world's second largest retail market as its retail trade volume doubled to 21 trillion yuan (US$3.44 trillion) in 2012, from 10.8 trillion (US$1.77 trillion) in 2008, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Commerce on Thursday.
Over the past five years, China's retail sales volume of consumer products has grown at an annual rate of 16.3 percent, a spokesman for the ministry said at a press conference yesterday.
The retail sector, now at 9.7 percent of China's economy, created more than 60 million jobs in 2012, an increase of 33 percent from the 45 million jobs in 2008.
This is good news for China as the country is on a course of economic rebalancing, shifting from a focus on investment to one more reliant on consumption.
Chinese leaders have been paying more attention to the quality of China's economic growth.
"Increasing service supplies and improving service quality will help unleash a huge potential in the domestic demand and thus offer firm support for a stable economic growth and structural optimization," Premier Li Keqiang said on May 29 at a services trade fair in Beijing.
More encouraging news is that China's non-manufacturing sector stood at 53.9 percent as of June, a reading which indicates expansion.