Trade Is Down but Retail Sales Are Up

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China's massive stimulus plan boosted retail sales and industrial output in May 2009 in the world's third-largest economy, even though exports fell last month in China. Retail sales rose 15.2% in May 2009 from the same month last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

In April, retail sales grew 14.8%. Industrial output rose 8.9% in May 2009, up from 7.3% in April and 8.3% in March. China's economy grew 6.1% in the first quarter of 2009. The World Bank is forecasting 6.5% annual growth in China this year. However, China's exports fell by a record 26.4% in May compared to May 2008 as the global recession hit trade. Imports were down 25.2% for the same period.

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