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China's top retailers say New Year sales rise 13 percent: govt

Sales by China's main retailers rose 13 percent during the three-day New Year holiday, the commerce ministry said, despite jitters jitters 'Butterflies' Psychology An episode of nervousness or anxiety that often precedes a public event; jitters is a type of performance anxiety which may affect actors in a stage production–stage fright or soloist musicians; it may respond to anxiolytics  caused by the global financial crisis.

The country's 1,000 top retailers sold 12.5 billion yuan (1.8 billion dollars) worth of goods between January 1 and January 3, the ministry said in a statement on its website Sunday.

The growth figure was in nominal terms, and if inflation was deducted de·duct  
v. de·duct·ed, de·duct·ing, de·ducts

v.tr.
1. To take away (a quantity) from another; subtract.

2. To derive by deduction; deduce.

v.intr.
, the actual growth rate would be about 10.5 percent.

Various promotions and extended opening hours opening hours open nplheures fpl d'ouverture

opening hours open nplÖffnungszeiten pl 
 boosted consumption, and many exporters that were facing flagging overseas demand took the opportunity to explore the domestic market, it said.

However, economists said the figure actually provided further proof that the Chinese economy was slowing as it seemed much lower than retail sales growth recorded during the 2008 New Year holiday.

No directly comparable figures were available, but in the entire month of January last year, sales of the then top 1,000 retailers increased 30.6 percent year-on-year.

"I don't think the figures show China's growth remains strong. Instead, I think it shows economic growth keeps slowing," Qu Hongbin, a Hong Kong-based economist with HSBC HSBC Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
HSBC Humane Society of Broward County (Florida)
HSBC Humane Society of Bay County (Bay County, Michigan) 
, told AFP (1) (AppleTalk Filing Protocol) The file sharing protocol used in an AppleTalk network. In order for non-Apple networks to access data in an AppleShare server, their protocols must translate into the AFP language. See file sharing protocol. .

"With the worsening wors·en  
tr. & intr.v. wors·ened, wors·en·ing, wors·ens
To make or become worse.

Noun 1. worsening - process of changing to an inferior state
decline in quality, deterioration, declension
 of the economic environment, it is likely that retail sales growth will further slow down in the first half of 2009," he said.

Qu said Chinese families are able to spend for the time being, because their consumption is not financed by loans.

This has prevented a sharp fall in holiday spending as seen in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  and other countries, he said.

But with the further slowdown of the Chinese economy, unemployment will rise, having a negative impact on household income and affecting consumption, he said.

In the first 11 months of 2008, retail sales were up 21.9 percent from the same period in 2007.
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Author:AFP
Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:Jan 5, 2009
Words:300
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