Chinese year-on-year retail sales grew by 13.7% in July to yuan 601.2 billion ($75.41bn; €59.11bn; £39.79bn), boosted by higher incomes, reports the nation's National Bureau of Statistics.

But growth slipped marginally from June's 13.9%. However, economists warned not to read too much into the drop, attributing it to falling price inflation.

Both urban and rural disposable incomes grew considerably in the first six months of 2006 compared to the year before, rising respectively by 10.2% and 11.9%.