China Retail March 2016


China: Retail sales accelerate at the end of Q1

April 15, 2016

In March, nominal retail sales grew 10.5% year-on-year, which was above the 10.2% increase tallied in the first two months of the year. The National Bureau of Statistics releases combined January and February figures to avoid seasonal effects stemming from the Chinese New Year holidays. The reading exceeded the 10.4% increase market analysts had expected and represented a three-month high. Stronger sales of automobiles and food and beverages were behind the acceleration.

Compared to the previous month, retail sales expanded a seasonally-adjusted 0.85% in March (February: +0.77% month-on-month). As a result of the rebound observed in March, annual average growth in retail sales stabilized at last month’s 10.6%.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect retail sales to increase 10.7% in 2016, which is unchanged from last month’s estimate. In 2017, the panel also foresees an expansion in retail sales of 10.7%.

Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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China Retail Chart

China Retail March 2016

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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