BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s state planner called on Tuesday for the implementation of policies to support the country’s catering and retail sectors.

Spending on new energy vehicles (NEVs) should also be supported, said Meng Wei, spokeswoman for the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Data on Monday showed March retail sales contracted the most on an annual basis since April 2020 due to widespread COVID-19 curbs across the country.

(Reporting by Yan Shen, Ellen Zhang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Kim Coghill)