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China Retail May 2019

China: Growth in retail sales gains steam in May

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.

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