BEIJING, April 17 (Xinhua) -- A Ministry of Commerce spokesman has predicted that multiple factors will drive China's consumption growth this year, after new data showed surging retail sales in the country.
People's rising income coupled with the new consumption power emerging amid China's urbanization and industrialization processes will both support consumption growth, Shen Danyang said at a press conference in Beijing on Thursday.
Government data released on Wednesday showed that the average per capita disposable income of both urban and rural residents grew 8.6 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2014.
Meanwhile, rising consumption of healthcare, travel, entertainment and information products as well as booming online shopping will further the trend, Shen said.
"We are basically optimistic in our view of the overall consumption market for this year," the spokesman said.
His remarks came after official data showed on Wednesday that the country's retail sales grew 12 percent year on year to 6.21 trillion yuan (1.01 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter.
Shen said that the growth was boosted by the rapid expansion of online shopping, robust consumption in the catering sector, as well as purchases of electronic gadgets and travel packages.
The government data showed retail sales in rural areas rose 12.8 percent in the first quarter from the same period last year. Retail sales in urban areas climbed 11.8 percent in the same period.