China Retail


China: Downward spiral in retail sales continues in October

November 13, 2014

In October, nominal retail sales grew 11.5% over the same month last year. The reading was slightly below the 11.6% increase recorded in the previous month and represented the weakest expansion since February 2006. The deceleration, which just barely undershot market expectations of an 11.6% expansion, reflected weaker growth in automobiles, household appliances as well as in oil and oil-related products.

Compared to the previous month, retail sales expanded a seasonally-adjusted 0.98% in October (September: +0.86% month-on-month). As a result of the weak annual expansion observed in October, annual average growth in retail sales inched down from September’s 12.4% to 12.3%, which represented the lowest reading since August 2004.

The government set a retail sales growth target of 14.5% for this year. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect retail sales to increase 12.5% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month’s estimate. In 2015, the panel foresees a slightly higher expansion in retail sales of 12.9%, which is down 0.1 percentage points over the previous month’s forecast.

Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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China Retail Chart

China Retail October 2014

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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