BEIJING, June 9 (Xinhua) -- China's retail sales grew 13.8 percent year on year to hit 1.67 trillion yuan (265.08 billion U.S. dollars) in May, down from the 14.1-percent growth registered in April, the National Bureau of Statistics said Saturday.
After adjusting for inflation, the reading was 11 percent in May and 10.9 percent in the first five months.
Retail sales in the January-May period totalled 8.16 trillion yuan.
The Chinese economy slowed to a three-year low of 8.1 percent in the first quarter due to waning exports, a sagging property market and a self-geared slowdown of investment.
The flagging economy spurred dampened domestic consumption, reining in inflation that slowed to 3.0 percent in May.
Urban retail sales of consumer goods reached 1.45 trillion yuan in May, up 13.7 percent year on year, while retail sales in rural areas rose 14.3 percent to 217.9 billion yuan from a year earlier, the NBS said.
Sales in the catering business rose 12.9 percent year on year to 184.4 billion yuan last month, while merchandise sales expanded 13.9 percent to 1.49 trillion yuan.
Analysts expect that domestic demand will pick up in the third quarter after the economy rebounds from hitting the lowest point in the year in the second quarter.