BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- China's home appliance sales under the country's rural subsidy program surged 39.4 percent year on year to 17.54 billion yuan (2.78 billion U.S. dollars) in September, the Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday.
In the first nine months, subsidized home appliance sales in China's countryside rose 21.6 percent from a year earlier to reach 153.86 billion yuan, according to a statement posted on the ministry's website.
The volume of appliances sold in the same period increased 12.1 percent to 57.31 million units, the statement said.
As of the end of September, China had subsidized 275 million units of home appliances valued at 659.76 billion yuan since the subsidy program began in 2009.
Sales of color TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners and water heaters all exceeded 20 billion yuan during the first nine months, accounting for 84.2 percent of total sales, according to the statement.
The subsidy program, which will continue until January 2013, is part of the government's efforts to stimulate rural consumption and buoy the nation's economic growth amid the global economic downturn.
Under the program, farmers can receive subsidies equal to 13 percent of the price of the home appliances they buy.
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