BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhua) -- China's retail sales of consumer goods rose 7.2 percent year on year to over 3 trillion yuan (436 billion U.S. dollars) in April, official data showed Wednesday.
The growth narrowed from an increase of 8.7 percent registered in March, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The indicator of consumption rose 8 percent year on year in the January-April period, down from the 8.3-percent rise seen in the first quarter, according to the NBS.
Wednesday's data also showed consumption in rural areas climbed 7.8 percent, outpacing a rise of 7.1 percent in urban regions. The catering industry reported a 8.5-percent increase in revenue.
Online retail sales maintained robust growth, surging 17.8 percent in the first four months, quickening from the 15.3-percent growth in the first quarter.
With a market of nearly 1.4 billion increasingly prosperous population, China strives to make consumption a major driver of its economic growth.