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24 Jan, 2019 14:57

China to dethrone US as world’s largest retail market in 2019 – report

China to dethrone US as world’s largest retail market in 2019 – report

Retail sales in China are poised to surge this year and exceed US retail by more than $100 billion, bringing it the crown as the top global retail market, according to a forecast by research firm eMarketer.

The total sales to consumers of world’s most populous country and second-largest economy are expected to hit around $5.64 trillion in 2019, an increase of 7.5 percent since last year, the US-based research company concluded in a report published on Wednesday. Meanwhile, retail sales of its trade-war rival, the US, are projected to surge 3.3 percent to reach nearly $5.53 trillion.

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“In recent years, consumers in China have experienced rising incomes, catapulting millions into the new middle class,” senior forecasting director at the research firm, Monica Peart, said. “The result has been marked rise in purchasing power and average spending per person.”

The main booster for China’s retail sales growth is e-commerce, according to eMarketer. Online sales in the country account for the highest rate of retail sales in the world, some 35.3 percent, and they are set to expand by 30 percent this year, reaching $1.99 trillion, according to the report.

At the same time, the US share of the global e-commerce market is expected to drop to 15 percent by 2022. China will take the lead in global online retail sales, taking more than half of the market this year and more than 63 percent in next three years.

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China's online sales hit one of their peaks during the annual shopping holiday, Singles Day, which takes place on November 11. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba smashed records last year, making some $30.8 billion (213.5 billion yuan) during the 24-hour shopping event, beating Amazon’s Prime Day, as well as both US shopping holidays Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

At the same time, growth rates are slowing for both countries, eMarketer estimates, adding that China’s growth rate will exceed that of the US through 2022.

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Earlier this week, Beijing reported that its economic growth came in at 6.6 percent last year – 0.1 percent higher than the authorities expected, but the slowest pace for the country in almost three decades. The news fueled concerns over global economic slowdown. However, Beijing insists that it’s on track for more growth in the nearest future.

“There are all sorts of views, some are saying that China is approaching the end of its growth or we have already reached the end of our growth. If you ask us, we believe that we have not reached the end, we are actually pursuing more sustainable growth,” Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan told the audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday.

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