China's retail sales of consumer goods declined 3.9 percent year on year in the second quarter of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday.
The figure narrowed 15.1 percentage points from the first quarter, the data showed.
In the first half of the year, retail sales of consumer goods went down 11.4 percent year on year to 17.23 trillion yuan (about 2.5 trillion U.S. dollars), narrowing by 7.6 percentage points from the first quarter.
In June, retail sales saw a decline of 1.8 percent from the same period last year to 3.35 trillion yuan, narrowing by 1 percentage point from May. Retail sales in rural areas dropped 1.2 percent last month, while that in urban areas decreased 2 percent.
Revenues of the catering sector, one of the worst-hit industries by COVID-19, fell 15.2 percent year on year in June, narrowing by 3.7 percentage points from May, said the NBS.
Meanwhile, as consumers switched to online services while being confined to indoors, online sales rose 7.3 percent year on year in the first six months, quickening by 2.8 percentage points from the first five months.
The decline in retail sales of consumer goods indicated that China is still facing constraints in consumption recovery, said NBS spokesperson Liu Aihua at a press conference Thursday.
She added that with effective implementation of epidemic control measures, consumption has gradually become convenient.