China to become world’s biggest retail market in 2019: Report

New York: China is set to overtake the United States as the world’s biggest retail market in 2019, news agency Xinhua said citing a report.

Research firm eMarketer in a report published on Wednesday predicted that China’s total retail sales will grow 7.5 percent to reach $5.636 trillion in 2019, while that of the United States will grow 3.3 percent to $5.529 trillion.

The sale boom is a result of China’s rising incomes and thriving e-commerce, the report said.

“In recent years, consumers in China have experienced rising incomes, catapulting millions into the new middle class,” said Monica Peart, senior forecasting director at eMarketer. “The result has been marked rise in purchasing power and average spending per person.”

e-commerce is a major driver of China’s retail economy, accounting for almost one fifth of the country’s total retail sales in 2018, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

On China’s annual shopping holiday, Singles Day, e-commerce giant Alibaba scooped up over 10 billion yuan ($1.47 billion) in just two minutes. Its 24-hour sales amounted to a record of $31.46 billion, exceeding that of Cyber Monday and Black Friday combined.

By the end of 2019, China will have 55.8 percent of all online retail sales globally, with the figure expected to exceed 63 percent by 2022, according to the report.

It also predicted that the US’ share of the global e-commerce market is expected to drop to 15 percent by 2022.