China Retail May 2019


China: Growth in retail sales gains steam in May

June 14, 2019

In May, nominal retail sales grew 8.6% on an annual basis. The print was above both the 7.2% increase in April and market expectations of an 8.1% rise.

May’s acceleration mostly reflected stronger sales of food and household appliances as well as a rebound in sales of cars and clothing and footwear. Conversely, sales of oil and oil-related products posted a contraction in May.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, retail sales expanded 0.74% in May, up from the 0.46% increase in April. Meanwhile, annual average growth in retail sales stabilized at April’s 8.5% in May.

While May’s acceleration in retail sales growth is good news for the economy, the rise mostly reflected seasonal distortions related to the Labor Day.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect retail sales to increase 8.7% in 2019, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate. In 2020, the panel foresees retail sales expanding 8.5%.

Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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China Retail Chart

China Retail May 2019

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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