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China expects 13-pct rise in 2014 retail sales

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BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's consumption will maintain steady growth in 2014, with retail sales expected to rise by 13 percent, vice commerce minister Fang Aiqing said Thursday.

"Although consumption potential is huge, uncertainties remain and the market still faces certain pressure," Fang said at a press conference.

He said the ministry will continue to rely on information technology to facilitate consumption in 2014.

To steer the economy onto a more sustainable track, the government has been at pains to switch for overreliance on investment and exports to consumption.

Official data released on Monday showed China's retail sales grew 13.1 percent year on year to 23.44 trillion yuan (3.84 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2013. Consumption contributed 50 percent of GDP growth, which came in at 7.7 percent last year.

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