Page last updated at 08:04 GMT, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 09:04 UK

Chinese retail sales still strong

Chinese shoppers
It is hoped Chinese shoppers will keep the economy growing

Sales of goods in China's shops grew at their fastest rate in a decade last month, with total retail sales 23.3% higher than July 2007.

Analysts said the rate, which was up from 23% in June, had been given a boost by the Beijing Olympics.

China's economy is growing strongly, but at a slower rate than before, and authorities are relying on consumer spending to continue to drive growth.

From April to June the economy grew at an annual pace of 10.1%.

China's consumers have also been benefitting from an easing of inflationary pressures in recent months.

The National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday that annual inflation as measured by the consumer price index was 6.3% in July, down from 7.1% in June.

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