Stats show China is still going strong

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Developed country

Recent retail statistics from China show particularly strong consumer goods sales, vindicating the continuing investment the big players are pouring into the region.

In July, the total retail sales on consumer goods reached CNY862.9 bn (€84.25bn), an increase of 23.3 per cent on last year’s figures, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

The increase in sales has been fairly steady throughout the year, with each month reporting an approximate 20 per cent increase on the previous year’s figure, excepting a small dip in February where the office report a 19.1 per cent rise.

In the six month period from January to July, total retail sales of consumer goods reached CNY,967.2bn, an increase of 21.7 per cent on the same period last year.

Cosmetics sales outperform

Cosmetics were a particularly strong performer, reporting a sales increase of 31.8 per cent.

The industry was beaten only by the sales of jewellery and petroleum and related products that rose by 43.6 and 55.2 per cent respectively.

These figures results illustrate that China’s economy and particularly its consumer goods sector is continuing to expand at an impressive rate, leading to significant investment in the region.

Johnson and Johnson and Symrise are amongst some of the larger global players to announce recent investment in the region recently, and China is still helping to balance the books for a number of companies in the light of the sluggish developed economies.

Johnson and Johnson announced its purchase of Dabao, a Beijing-based cosmetics brand, just last month. Although official figures of the transaction were not released, local media suggested a purchasing price in the region of CNY2.3bn.

The company plans to expand the products range of the well known brand, taking advantage of its local knowledge and network base.

It isn’t just finished products companies who are getting in on the act. The Germany-based fragrance and flavours supplier, Symrise, recently divulged plans to open a new creative centre in Shanghai, citing China as one of the most important growth markets.

China balances the books for international players

In addition, sales growth in the region continues to boost the, at times, shaky figures from the more developed markets.

In July, International Flavours and Fragrance reported a 1 percent rise in fragrance division sales for the second quarter of 2008, dragged down by an 11 per cent decline in North America.

The division’s performance was somewhat rescued by sales growth of 18 per cent in Greater Asia.

Japan-based cosmetics company Shiseido also highlighted the importance of the Chinese market in boosting it sales figures, as domestic sales dropped 9.3 per cent in the quarter ending June 30.

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