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China: Growth in retail sales improves mildly in May

June 11, 2015

In May, nominal retail sales grew 10.1% over the same month last year, which was slightly up from April’s multi-year low of a 10.0% increase. The reading, which was in line with market expectations, mostly reflected faster growth in sales for clothes and textiles as well as for automobiles.

Compared to the previous month, retail sales expanded a seasonally-adjusted 0.81% in May (April: +0.72% 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 April’s 11.4% to 11.2% in May, which represented the lowest reading since May 2004.

The government set a retail sales growth target of 13.0% for this year. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect retail sales to increase 11.7% in 2015, which is down 0.6 percentage points from last month’s estimate. In 2016, the panel also foresees an expansion in retail sales of 11.7%.


Author: Ricard Torné, Head of Economic Research

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China Retail May 2015

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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