China is formulating plans to boost the recovery and expansion of consumption, the state planner’s spokesperson Meng Wei has said, signalling officials are worried about weak demand despite a sharp rebound in retail sales.
China’s economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace in the first quarter, as businesses and consumers came out of crippling pandemic disruptions, although headwinds from a global slowdown point to a bumpy ride ahead.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Wednesday pledged to promote a sustained recovery in consumption.
“Currently, we are working on drafting documents on the recovery and expansion of consumption, mainly focusing on key areas such as stabilising big-ticket consumption, enhancing service consumption and expanding rural consumption,” Meng said.
Meng, at a news conference, also mentioned stabilising automobile consumption, which was a “big part” of supporting consumption, by promoting new energy vehicles to rural areas.
Although official data showed retail sales rose at a faster pace in March compared with the previous month, policymakers remain concerned the lack of demand is adding uncertainty to the economic growth outlook.
“The international environment is still complex and ever-changing, constraints from insufficient domestic demand are obvious and the foundation for economic recovery is not solid,” Fu Linghui, the statistics bureau spokesperson, said on Tuesday.