Spending on services set to be a major driver of long-term and sound economic growth, reports Wei Tian
The service sector is likely to be the next big driver of domestic consumption in China, helping to bring about long-term and sound economic expansion, experts said.
By 2012, consumption was already contributing more to the growth of China's gross domestic product than investment, a result in part of low inflation, an increase in disposable incomes and the support provided by a series of government policies.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics suggest that consumption contributed 4.2 percentage points to the 7.7 percent GDP growth the country achieved in the first three quarters of 2012.
The rate of increase for retail sales of consumer goods went from 18.1 percent at the end of 2011 to 13.2 percent in August 2012. Yet the year-on-year growth rate of per capita consumption increased 9.8 percent in the first quarter of 2012, from the 8.5 percent average seen since 2003 and it was the highest record since the outbreak of the global financial crisis in 2008.
Xu Qiyuan, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said:"This is a sign that consumers are spending much more in the service sector."
Lu Zhengwei, chief economist with Industrial Bank Co Ltd, said service consumption will give a further boost to urbanization, which the country's new leadership has said is one of its main tasks.
"Vice-premier Li Keqiang stressed the importance of transforming migrant workers into urban inhabitants, instead of simply adding up the size and population of cities.
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