China: Growth in retail sales decelerates at the outset of 2016
March 12, 2016
In the January-February period, nominal retail sales grew 10.2% year-on-year, which was below December’s 11.1% increase. The National Bureau of Statistics releases combined January and February figures to avoid seasonal effects stemming from the Chinese New Year holidays. The reading undershot the 11.0% increase market analysts had expected and represented a nine-month low. Weaker sales of automobiles and household appliances were behind the deceleration.
Compared to the previous month, retail sales expanded a seasonally-adjusted 0.81% in February (January: +0.83% month-on-month). As a result of the disappointing figures observed at the outset of the year, annual average growth in retail sales fell from December’s 11.1% to 10.2% in February, which represented the lowest reading since April 2004.