China's Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan (C), Vice Minister of Commerce and Deputy China International Trade Representative Wang Shouwen (2nd R) and Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming (2nd L) attend a press conference on China's domestic market and all-round opening-up for the second session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, capital of China, March 9, 2019. (Xinhua/Shen Bohan)
BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan said Saturday that the structure of China's consumption has kept improving as consumption contributes more to economic growth.
Consumption of services grew faster than that of goods, with its share rising to 49.5 percent last year, a sign of improved consumption structure, Zhong told a news conference on the sidelines of the annual legislative session.
The quality of consumption has also become better with personalized, diversified and customized consumption burgeoning, he said.
Despite a narrowed growth rate in China's total retail sales last year, the increment amounted to 3.2 trillion yuan (about 476 billion U.S. dollars), equivalent to the annual retail sales in 1998, Zhong said.
"China is already a major consumption power," he said.
Last year, consumption contributed 76.2 percent to economic growth, remaining the primary driver of economic growth, he said.
China will promote the development of a robust domestic market this year, with measures focusing on unleashing the potential of both urban and rural consumption and promoting spending on services such as elderly care, the minister said.