China's Ministry of Commerce's reports that the country's retail sales exceeded 270 billion yuan (approx. U.S. $33.5 billion) during the Golden Week, the holiday period of October 1 through 7. That marks an increase of 14.2 percent over 2004.
The ministry reported the availability of commodities was 20 percent more than usual, with a notably high availability of home appliances.
The ministry reported "steady" market activity in rural China and "brisk" urban activity, with urban retailers reported to have sales increases of 18 to 41 percent in the cities of Beijing, Guangdong, Shanxi, Hebei, Chongqing, Jilin, and Sichuan.
The ministry noted changes in consumption habits during this year's holiday period. Consumers were buying gold and jewelry, apparel – and branded appliances. Driving the popularity of appliances is consumer interest in flat-panel TVs, environmental friendly refrigerators, and digital small appliances. In major appliances, Chinese producers Gome and Suning were reported to have sales increases of 25 to 30 percent.
The ministry reports a number of retailer promotional efforts prior to the holiday week that spurred sales. Bargain prices were conspicuous for cars and appliances, according to the Ministry.
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