The consumer market continues to recover and remains unchanged

  A few days ago, the relevant person in charge of the Department of Consumer Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce said when talking about the situation of my country's consumer market in August, despite the impact of the epidemic and flood conditions, the growth rate of the consumer market slowed down overall, but still showed strong resilience.

Rapid development of new types of consumption

  In August of this year, the total retail sales of consumer goods nationwide was 3.4 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 2.5%, and the growth rate dropped by 6 percentage points from the previous month and increased by 3% from the same period in 2019.

From January to August, the total retail sales of consumer goods was 28.1 trillion yuan, an increase of 18.1% year-on-year and an increase of 8% year-on-year.

  "Recently, the domestic epidemic has occurred from multiple sources and at multiple points. Resident travel and consumption have decreased. Coupled with the increase in the base figure in the same period last year, the market sales growth rate in August this year has fallen from the previous month." said Zhang Min, a statistician from the Department of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations, National Bureau of Statistics. However, from the perspective of cumulative growth, the total retail sales of consumer goods from January to August still maintained a double-digit rapid growth.

In general, the continued recovery of the consumer market has not changed.

  According to the analysis of the relevant person in charge of the Consumer Promotion Department of the Ministry of Commerce, the consumer market in August has the following characteristics:

  Basic living expenses remained stable.

In August, the retail sales of grain, oil, food and beverages of units above designated size increased by 9.5% and 11.8% year-on-year respectively.

From January to August, among the online retail sales of physical goods, the sales of food products increased by 22.4% year-on-year.

  The sales of upgraded products grew rapidly.

In August, the retail sales of gold, silver, jewelry, cultural and office supplies, and sports and entertainment products of units above designated size increased by 7.4%, 20.4%, and 22.7% respectively year-on-year, while furniture and building materials increased by 6.7% and 13.5% respectively.

Some distribution companies, e-commerce platforms, green smart home appliances, and household products sales increased by more than 20%.

  The rapid development of new types of consumption.

From January to August, the online retail sales of physical goods was 6.6 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 15.9%, accounting for 23.6% of the total retail sales.

In August, 321,000 new energy vehicles were sold, an increase of 1.8 times year-on-year, a record high in a single month.

  Consumer prices are generally stable

  In terms of consumer prices, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce Shu Jueting said that in August, consumer prices were generally stable.

The national consumer price (CPI) rose by 0.8% year-on-year and 0.1% month-on-month.

In terms of structure, food prices fell 4.1% year-on-year, of which pork and fresh vegetables prices fell 44.9% and 1.5%, non-food prices rose 1.9%; consumer goods prices rose 0.3%, and service prices rose 1.5%.

From January to August, the CPI rose by 0.6% year-on-year.

  Zhao Ping, vice president of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, analyzed in an interview with this reporter that in August, affected by factors such as the decline in pork prices, the price of food, which accounts for a large proportion of the CPI, fell by 4.1%, affecting the decline in CPI growth.

In the future, CPI is expected to maintain a moderate trend.

  As the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day are approaching, how to ensure the supply and price stabilization of important livelihood commodities?

Peng Shaozong, deputy director of the Price Department of the National Development and Reform Commission and a first-level inspector, said that during the "two festivals", there are four main arrangements for ensuring supply and stable prices:

  One is to strengthen market price monitoring and early warning.

Focus on the daily necessities of the people, pay close attention to changes in market supply and demand, find signs, tendencies, and potential problems as early as possible, and deal with them as early as possible.

The second is to ensure market supply.

For important daily necessities such as rice, noodles, oil, meat, and storable vegetables, the reserve scale is enriched in advance, and the reserve is timely and accurately released according to the market situation.

The third is to increase market price supervision.

Severely crack down on illegal acts such as fabricating and disseminating price increase information, driving up prices, hoarding, and colluding with price increases, and standardizing market price order.

The fourth is to provide temporary price subsidies in full and in time.

Encourage places where conditions permit, based on the increase in the prices of some commodities, to appropriately raise the standard of temporary subsidies and issue one-time living allowances to the people in need.

  The positive trend will continue

  Next, how do you look at the consumption situation?

  According to Zhao Ping's analysis, with the effective control of the epidemic and the further development of consumption promotion policies in the later period, coupled with the advent of the traditional consumption peak season, consumer demand for accommodation, catering, cultural tourism, etc. will be released, and consumption is expected to continue to maintain recovery growth.

  "In the next stage, as employment remains stable and residents' income increases, residents' consumer demand is expected to continue to be released, and the recovery of the consumer market will continue to develop." Zhang Min said.

  The relevant person in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission pointed out that in the long run, my country has accelerated the construction of a new development pattern, implemented the strategy of expanding domestic demand, solidly promoted common prosperity, expanded the middle-income group, and the rapid development of new technologies, new industries, new formats and new business models has nurtured this. With huge consumption potential and upgrading demand, it will strongly support the expansion of total consumption and the improvement of quality.

In the next step, the National Development and Reform Commission will give full play to the role of the inter-ministerial joint conference system for improving the consumption promotion mechanism, and work with relevant departments to coordinate production, distribution, circulation, and consumption, and consider the development of consumption in different fields, levels, and groups. Demand, the system comprehensively promotes the quality and upgrading of the consumption supply system, demand structure, circulation network and development environment.

Wang Wenzheng

Wang Wenzheng