BEIJING, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Sixteen major cities on the YangtzeRiver Delta, the economic engine of east China, saw their consumption growth exceed their GDP growth in the first half, sources with local statistical authorities said on Wednesday.
The cities are Shanghai and eight in Jiangsu Province, including Nanjing, Nantong and Wuxi, and seven in Zhejiang Province, including Hangzhou and Ningbo.
The sources said first-half retail sales amounted to 701.3 billion yuan (92.6 billion U.S. dollars), a growth of 15.8 percent on the same period last year. The growth rate was one percentage point higher and 0.4 percentage points higher than the national average.
Meanwhile, the eight cities in Jiangsu recorded a GDP growth of15 percent, the seven cities in Zhejiang more than 14 percent, and Shanghai 13 percent.
The GDP for the whole delta region reached 2.15 trillion yuan in the first half. Zhejiang's seven cities accounted for 29.1 percent of the total, Jiangsu's eight cities made up for 45 percent and Shanghai 25 percent or so.
The sources said the seven cities in Zhejiang recorded a per-capita disposable income of more than 10,000 yuan for the whole of the first half, including Shaoxing, which had the highest per-capita income of the 16 cities at 12,362 yuan. It was followed by Shanghai with 12,278 yuan, up 14.7 percent from the same period last year. But among the eight cities in Jiangsu, only Suzhou, Nanjing and Wuxi had their per-capita disposable income exceed 10,000 yuan.
Of China's three major economic driving forces -- exports, investment and domestic demand -- consumption at home has been given priority in recent years.