China Retail February 2017


China: Retail sales disappoint in early 2017

March 14, 2017

In the January-February period, nominal retail sales in China grew 9.5% year-on-year, which was below the 10.9% increase in December. The print represented the weakest growth in over a decade and fell short of the 10.6% increase that market analysts had expected. The reduction of tax incentives to purchase low-emission cars this year led sales for automobiles to plummet at the start of the year.

Compared to the previous month, retail sales expanded a seasonally-adjusted 0.95% in February (January: +0.51% month-on-month). Annual average growth in retail sales was stable at January’s 10.3% in February, thereby remaining at the lowest rate since April 2004.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect retail sales to increase 10.3% in 2017, which is up 0.2 percentage points from last month’s estimate. In 2018, the panel foresees retail sales expanding 10.0%.

Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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China Retail Chart

China Retail February 2017

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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