BEIJING, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese government subsidies for purchases of autos and home appliance have boosted consumer spending and bolstered the national economy, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday.
To boost consumer spending to cushion the impact of falling exports amid the global financial crisis, China rolled out the subsidy policies for rural home appliance and auto consumers last year.
In the first seven months of the year, the government paid 9.57 billion yuan (1.41 billion U.S. dollars) in subsidies for home appliance buyers in rural areas, lifting sales in rural regions to 83.82 billion yuan, up 240 percent from the same period a year ago, the ministry said in a statement on its website.
The government paid 9.2 billion yuan in subsidies for the purchase of 6.46 million autos and motorbikes in rural areas during January to July.
In addition, the government also offered auto and home appliance consumers subsidies to replace their old sets with new ones.
By Aug. 10, 18.98 million households had spent 71 billion yuan to replace their old home appliances while receiving more than 6 billion yuan in government subsidies.
Under the "old car for new" subsidy program, consumers received 2.6 billion yuan in subsidies as they purchased more than 200,000 vehicles in the January to July period.
The government has extended the period for the subsidy policies.
The MOC has estimated total fiscal spending to stimulate consumption will exceed 80 billion yuan this year.