July retail sales of consumer goods dropped 1.1 percent year on year to arrive at 3,220.3 billion yuan, the National Bureau of Statistics of China reported on Friday (Aug. 14) in a statement.
Retail sales in cities were lower by 1.1 percent year on year to 2,802.5 billion yuan, while retail sales in rural locales were lower by 1.3 percent to 417.8 billion yuan.
The Bureau also reported that industrial production steadily increased, while high-tech and equipment manufacturing experienced quick expansion. Additionally, the Index of Services Production rose by 3.5 percent year on year in July.
"The production and supply continued to recover, market demands gradually picked up, employment and prices were generally stable, new driving forces grew and thrived, and market confidence was boosted," the Bureau said in its report. "The national economy maintained a trend of steady recovery."
The overall value of exports reached 1,684.6 billion yuan and the total value of imports arrived at 1,242.4 billion yuan.
The news came as it was reported that China's economy grew 3.2 percent in Q2 of this year in comparison to April to June of 2019. The success contrasted with the other significant economies around the globe, which were still feeling the negative effects of the pandemic.
China's economy had become smaller by 6.8 percent in Q1 as compared to the past year, marking the nation’s first contraction since it started reporting quarterly gross domestic product in the early 1990s.
In separate news, the U.S. Census Bureau released an estimated $536 billion in advanced U.S. retail and food services sales for July, representing an increase of 1.2 percent (±0.5 percent) from the prior month and 2.7 percent (±0.7 percent) from the same month in 2019.
Retail trade sales increased by 0.8 percent (±0.5 percent) from the prior month and 5.8 percent (±0.7 percent) from the prior year. Non-store merchants were higher by 24.7 percent (±1.4 percent) from the same month in 2019, while food and beverage stores were up by 11.1 percent (±0.9 percent) from last year.