BEIJING, June 15 (Xinhua) -- China's retail sales of consumer goods declined 2.8 percent year on year in May, narrowing from a drop of 7.5 percent in April, the National Bureau of Statistics said Monday.
In May, retail sales of consumer goods reached 3.2 trillion yuan (about 451 billion U.S. dollars), up 0.79 percent month on month.
In the first five months, China's retail sales of consumer goods went down 13.5 percent year on year to reach 13.9 trillion yuan, narrowing by 2.7 percentage points from the first four months.
Retail sales in rural areas dropped 3.2 percent year on year in May, while sales in urban areas decreased 2.8 percent.
Revenues of the catering sector, one of the worst-hit industries by COVID-19, fell 18.9 percent year on year in May, narrowing by 12.2 percentage points from April, said the bureau.
Meanwhile, online sales continued to be active as consumers turned to online services when staying indoors, with an increase of 4.5 percent year on year in the first five months, quickening by 2.8 percentage points from the first four months.
As the COVID-19 epidemic wanes in China, the country has been introducing a string of measures to revive consumer confidence as part of broader efforts to shore up the economy.
Local governments have started to offer vouchers to boost spending, while incentives for automobile purchase were introduced to prop up the sector. Enditem