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Key retail markets - China

02
Mar '07
Consolidated data from China has revealed that retail sales continued to record double digit growth in November 2006. This growth in retail sales in China is broad based, over a comprehensive range of products with sales of luxury items (such as cars) growing remarkably.

The reasons for this strong growth in retail sales have been well documented - strong income growth of individuals which has flowed through to consumer confidence and expenditure.

Consistent with the trend, clothing retail sales have continued to be one of the best performers and grew both by value and volume, with all major apparel retail categories reporting encouraging sales.

Men's suiting, the most important user of wool, also increased strongly in November 2006, after relatively poor sales for much of 2006.

Sales of women's wear increased substantially in November 2006 year-on-year.

Knitwear (including wool and cashmere), another important wool user, also reported strong gains in November. This whole market segment has recorded unprecedented competition in recent years.

For the interiors textile market, rapid developments in China's housing market continues to increase demand. Retail sales for bedding products and blankets (all fibres) from January to November 2006 saw particularly healthy increases.

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