China: Retail sales contract at sharpest rate since March 2020 in April
Retail sales collapsed 11.1% compared to the same month of the previous year in April, which followed March’s 3.5% decrease and was worse than markets were expecting. April’s figure marked the lowest reading since March 2020. Vehicle, catering, clothing, jewelry and IT sales suffered particularly sharp falls, amid Covid-19 restrictions in many parts of the country.
On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, retail sales fell at a more moderate rate of 0.7% in April (March: -2.0% mom). Meanwhile, the trend pointed down, with the annual average growth of retail sales coming in at an over one-year low of 3.9%, down from March’s 6.5%.
Retail sales likely continued to contract in annual terms in May, as restrictions in many parts of the country—including Shanghai—continued, and measures were tightened in Beijing due to a rise in cases in the city.