China’s retail sales maintained steady growth in July, rising 12.2 percent year on year to 2.08 trillion yuan (338.2 billion U.S. dollars), according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday.

The rate was slightly down from the 12.4-percent rise in June, the data showed. In the first seven months, retail sales went up 12.1 percent to 14.5 trillion yuan.

Income from the catering sector increased 9.4 percent to 218.7 billion yuan in July, while sales of consumer goods amounted to 1.86 trillion yuan, up 12.6 percent year on year, the NBS said.

Retail sales growth in rural areas continued to outpace that in urban China. In July, sales in rural regions rose 13.2 percent from a year ago to 281.7 billion yuan, while that in urban areas climbed 12.1 percent.