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Consumption to remain top engine of China's economic growth

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-19 13:36

BEIJING - Domestic consumption will continue to play a leading role in boosting China's economic growth this year, according to a recent report.

Retail sales of consumer goods, a key indicator of consumption, are expected to jump by 10.2 percent year-on-year to exceed 37 trillion yuan ($5.4 trillion) in 2017, contributing more than 70 percent of the country's economic growth, according to a report issued by the China General Chamber of Commerce.

The report said that online sales would expand at a slower pace this year, while consumer services would grow steadily.

China has been shifting to a consumption-driven economy as its export and investment-led engines of growth are unsustainable in the long term.

China used to rely heavily on exports for its economic growth. However, the model proved undesirable, especially during financial crises when global demand is slack.

The investment-led model that propelled the country's development has also reached its limits. Many problems, including high debt levels, industrial overcapacity and environmental degradation, mean China must move to a more sustainable path.

As old growth drivers slow, consumption has risen to take up the slack. Consumption contributed 66.4 percent to gross domestic product in 2015, up 15.4 percentage points from 2014.

China is set to announce Friday key economic indicators for 2016, including whole-year retail sales.

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