China Retail December 2021


China: Retail sales growth falls to over one-year low in December

January 16, 2022

Retail sales grew 1.7% year-on-year in December (November: +3.9% yoy). December's result marked the worst reading since August 2020.

On a monthly basis, retail sales dropped 0.2% in seasonally-adjusted terms in December, contrasting November’s 0.1% expansion and marking the worst result since July. Meanwhile, annual average retail sales growth fell to 14.2% in December (November: +14.4%), signaling a worsening trend in the retail trade sector. The disappointing December data was likely linked to renewed Covid-19 flare-ups domestically, which led to tighter restrictions—including the strict lockdown of the city of Xi’an—and will have dented confidence.

Our panelists see retail sales rising 8.2% in 2022, up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 7.8% in 2023.


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China Retail Chart

China Retail December 2021

Note: Month-on-month changes of seasonally adjusted nominal retail sales index and year-on-year variation in %. Owing to seasonal factors related to the Lunar New Year, annual figures for January and February are reported together.
Source: National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS) and FocusEconomics calculations.

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