Chinese retail sales hit US$51.5 billion in August, up 13.1% on the same month last year and providing hopeful signs for the government hoping to engineer a soft landing for the economy. The news follows statistics showing that inflation remained at 5.3% in August, a seven year high. The sales figures appear to indicate that consumers are still willing to spend despite rising prices. The government is hoping to maintain high levels of consumer spending as a means of cushioning the impact of tighter controls on fixed asset investment designed to avoid overheating in the economy.
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