China: Growth in retail sales accelerates at the outset of the year
In the January-February period, nominal retail sales grew 9.7% year-on-year, an acceleration over the 9.4% rise in December. The print was slightly above the 9.6% rise that market analysts had expected. Chinese authorities release combined economic data for January and February to smooth out volatility related to the Lunar New Year holidays. The acceleration largely resulted from faster auto and home appliances sales.
On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, retail sales expanded 0.76% in February, up from the 0.59% increase in January. Annual average growth in retail sales came in at 10.3% in February, up from 10.2% in January.