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Govt to announce series of plans to boost consumption

By Fang Yunyu  (Global Times)

08:36, September 05, 2012

The government will announce a series of plans, aiming to boost domestic consumption, the Ministry of Commerce said Tuesday.

"We will launch an outline of China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) for domestic trade development soon, in order to increase domestic consumption," Huang Minghai, director of the press office of the ministry, told the Global Times Tuesday.

Huang said that related agencies would be cooperating with the ministry. "They will release details of their consumption-boosting policies later on," said Huang.

The Shanghai Securities News, a business daily run by the Xinhua News Agency, reported Tuesday that the measures will include tax cuts and subsidies for certain sectors.

Official statistics showed that domestic retail sales hit 18.12 trillion yuan ($2.87 trillion) last year, an increase of 11.6 percent year-on-year after taking inflation into account.

The report also said the new outline will cover various industries including wholesale, retail, accommodation and catering, with the goal of realizing annual retail sales of 32 trillion yuan in the domestic market by 2015, a rise of 77 percent compared with the figure for 2011.

"The reason for launching such massive plans is the need to tackle the slowdown in exports," Wang Yiming, vice president of the Macroeconomic Research Institute at the National Development and Reform Commission, told the Global Times Tuesday.

China's export growth slumped in July to $176.9 billion, up just 1 percent year-on-year, indicating that "it will be an arduous task to meet China's foreign trade target, as external demand is weak," the General Administration of Customs said last month.

The government set a target for foreign trade growth of 10 percent for this year; the country registered year-on-year growth in foreign trade of 22.5 percent in 2011.

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