BEIJING, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Amid effective epidemic containment measures, China sustained its upward momentum in commerce and foreign trade last year, with a stellar performance to achieve stable business operation, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
China has become the world's second-largest commodity consumption market, with its total trade volume of goods ranking first globally for five consecutive years, the ministry told a press conference on Tuesday.
The following statistics offer an overview of the country's commerce and foreign trade performance in 2021.
-- Last year, China's retail sales of consumer goods rose 12.5 percent year on year to 44.1 trillion yuan (about 6.93 trillion U.S. dollars). Consumption has re-established itself as the key driver of economic development, accounting for 65.4 percent of total expenditure.
-- Spending in catering and other services saw an orderly recovery, with catering income increasing by 18.6 percent from a year ago, close to the pre-epidemic level.
-- As new consumption models further developed, China's online sales of physical goods expanded by 12 percent year on year to 10.8 trillion yuan in 2021, accounting for 24.5 percent of the total retail sales during the period.
-- China's foreign trade moved up another notch and exceeded 6 trillion U.S. dollars for the first time in 2021. The total import and export of goods expanded 21.4 percent year on year to 39.1 trillion yuan. Exports rose 21.2 percent, while imports went up 21.5 percent.
-- The country's service trade saw faster upgrades, rising 14.7 percent year on year to reach 4.7 trillion yuan in the first 11 months of the year.
-- Foreign direct investment into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, expanded 14.9 percent year on year to a record high of 1.15 trillion yuan in 2021. Investment in the Chinese mainland from countries along the Belt and Road soared 29.4 percent.
-- China's outbound direct investment rose 2.2 percent to 936.69 billion yuan last year, with that into countries along the Belt and Road increasing 7.9 percent from a year ago.
-- The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, signed by 15 Asia-Pacific countries including China, has entered into force, creating the world's largest trade bloc.
-- Last year, China also filed applications to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement.