Sales of home appliances in China's rural areas surged 168 percent to 20.86 billion yuan ($3.16 billion) in February, driven by a subsidy program to boost consumption, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) announced Friday.
The sales volume in the month rose 126 percent to 8.87 million units, with refrigerators and televisions the most popular appliances among Chinese farmers, the MOC said in a statement posted on its website.
The February figures brought sales in the first two months this year to 46.21 billion yuan, an increase of 141 percent year-on-year, while sales volume reached 19.36 million units, up 99 percent.
China started the subsidy program in February 2009 to spur rural consumption and buoy the nation's economic growth amid the global economic downturn.
Farmers can receive subsidies equal to 13 percent of the price of home appliances they purchase. Generic items covered by the program are refrigerators, televisions, mobile phones, washing machines, computers, air conditioners, water heaters, microwave ovens and traditional ovens.
China's Commerce Minister Chen Deming said in December last year that China would continue the subsidy program in 2011.
Sales of home appliances in China reached 173.23 billion yuan in 2010, up 170 percent.