China's retail sales totaled US$48 billion in April, a 13% increase over April 2003, according to data released by Mainland Marketing Research Co, which distributes monthly data for the National Bureau of Statistics. The year-on-year growth of retail sales growth for April is affected by atypical consumption habits resulting from the outbreak of SARS during the same month in 2003. The central government has said it will focus on stimulating consumer spending to maintain economic growth as it reins in industrial expansion. China's central bank, the People's Bank of China, said that consumption accounts for 60% of China's gross domestic product, lower than the 74% average for developing countries and 80% for developed countries.
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