China Retail


Retail sales growth slows in September after hitting eight-month high in August

In September, nominal retail sales grew 13.3% over the same month last year, undershooting market expectations of a 13.5% rise. The increase marks a deceleration over the 13.4% increase seen in August, which had marked the strongest increase in eight months. The moderation tallied in September was mainly due to weaker growth in sales of oil and oil-related products as well as in food and beverages.

Compared to the previous month, retail sales expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.24% in September (August: +1.13% month-on-month). The trend deteriorated, with annual average growth in retail sales inching down from 13.5% in August to 13.4% in September.

The government has set a growth target of 14.5% for retail sales. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants see this target as overly ambitious and expect retail sales to rise 13.0% in 2013, which is unchanged from last month's estimate. In 2014, the panel sees retail sales expanding 13.5%, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's projection.

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China Retail Chart

China Retail September 2013

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 in January and February are reported together.
Source: National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS).

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