China's retail sales of consumer goods increased 10.3 percent in the first quarter year on year, official data showed on Friday.
The first-quarter reading was 0.4 percentage points lower than that recorded in the whole of last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
In March, retail sales were up 10.5 percent year on year, faster than the growth rate in the first two months of this year.
Urban consumers contributed the lion's share of the increase though rural consumer spending climbed faster than that by urbanites.
January-March online sales rose 27.8 percent year on year, accounting for about 13 percent of gross retail sales, the NBS data showed.
A confluence of factors including rising salaries and lukewarm consumer prices were behind the first-quarter strength.
Retail sales have contributed significantly to China's economic growth as the country is shifting from an export-driven economy to a consumer society.