China Retail


China: Growth in retail sales in December accelerates to four-month high

January 20, 2015

In December, nominal retail sales grew 11.9% over the same month of the previous year. The reading was slightly above the 11.7% increase recorded in the previous month and represented the strongest expansion in four months. The acceleration, which overshot market expectations of an 11.7% expansion, reflected stronger growth in sales of automobiles, food and beverages, and household appliances.

Compared to the previous month, retail sales expanded a seasonally-adjusted 1.01% in December (November: +0.90% month-on-month). In the full year 2014, retail sales expanded 12.0%, which was below the 13.1% increase tallied in 2013 and represented the weakest annual growth since 2003.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect retail sales to increase 12.3% in 2015, which is down 0.3 percentage points from last month’s estimate. In 2016, the panel foresees a slightly higher expansion in retail sales of 12.4%.

Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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China Retail Chart

China Retail December 2014

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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