China Retail


Retail sales hit five-month high in May

In May, nominal retail sales grew 12.9% over the same month last year, which marks an improvement over the 12.8% increase seen in the April and represents the highest result observed since December 2012. That said, the print matched market expectations. The slight improvement seen in May was mainly due to stronger growth in sales of household appliances as well as of food and beverages.

Compared to the previous month, retail sales expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.17% in May, following the 1.25% increase tallied in April. Despite the monthly rise, the trend continues to point downwards, with annual average growth in retail sales inching down from 13.6% in April to 13.5% in May.

The government has set a growth target of 14.5% for retail sales. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect retail sales to rise 13.9% in 2013, which is down 0.4 percentage points from last month's estimate. In 2014, the panel sees retail sales expanding 14.9%.

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China Retail Chart

China Retail May 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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