BEIJING, July 5 (UPI) -- China's retail trade volume reached 21 trillion yuan ($3.44 trillion) last year, the Ministry of Commerce said.
The ministry said the 2012 retail trade volume had doubled from the 10.8 trillion yuan ($1.77 trillion) volume recorded in 2008.
A ministry spokesman said China's retail sales volume of consumer products has been growing at an annual rate of 16.3 percent in the past five years, China.org.cn reported Friday.
The ministry said the country's retail sector, which accounts for 9.7 percent of China's economy, created more than 60 million jobs in 2012, up 33 percent from 2008.
Chinese policymakers have been seeking to boost domestic consumption to provide for stable economic growth and to reduce reliance on exports.