China's retail sales increased in October at the fastest pace in 5 months, surging to a record as rising incomes made appliances more affordable.
Sales increased 14.2 percent from a year earlier to 498 billion yuan (approx. U.S. $60 billion) after rising 14 percent in September, the Beijing-based National Bureau of Statistics said.
China's economy expanded in the third quarter at its slowest pace in more than a year as growth in urban fixed-asset investment slowed to 30 percent in the 9 months ended Sept. 30 from 48 percent in the first quarter. Retail sales growth accelerated to 13 percent from 10.7 percent.
Sales of home appliances and audio-visual equipments climbed 14 percent in October. Furniture sales increased 30 percent and telecom-equipment sales surged 28 percent.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., a Chinese-based consumer-electronics maker, said it will spend 27 billion yen (approx. $257 million) building an industrial park to make home appliances in Hangzhou, south of Shanghai.
Toshiba Corp. and Chinese partner TCL Corp., China's biggest publicly traded consumer-electronics maker, said they plan to invest a combined $50 million to make and sell washing machines and refrigerators in China. Production will start in January 2006 with the capacity to make 700,000 refrigerators and 300,000 washing machines in the first year, Toshiba said. (Bloomberg)
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