Beijing: China's retail sales rose by 18.1 percent year-on-year in December 2011, up from 17.3 percent growth in November, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday.

Retail sales in 2011 increased by 17.1 percent year-on-year to 18.1 trillion yuan ($2.9 trillion), slower than 18.4 percent growth in 2010, the NBS said in a statement.

After deducting inflation, retail sales growth in real terms was 13.8 percent in last December and 11.6 percent in 2011, as reported.

On a monthly basis, retail sales grew 1.41 percent in December from November.

China's consumer price index (CPI) rose 5.4 percent year-on-year in 2011.

Retail sales growth of automobiles slowed sharply to 14.6 percent in 2011, down 20.2 percentage points from a year earlier, the statement said.

In 2011, urban retail sales increased 17.2 percent year-on-year to 15.7 trillion yuan, while rural retail sales climbed 16.7 percent to hit 2.4 trillion yuan.

Catering sector sales were up 16.9 percent year-on-year while commodity retail sales grew 17.2 percent.

Sales of home appliances and audiovisual equipment climbed 21.6 percent in 2011 and that of furniture rose by 32.8 percent, according to the statement.