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China Retail July 2021

China: Retail sales disappoint in July

Retail sales rose 8.5% year-on-year in July (June: +12.1% yoy). The result marked the worst reading since December 2020, and markedly undershot market expectations, amid a tightening of social distancing restrictions as the Delta variant gained ground.

On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, retail sales fell 0.1% in July (June: +0.5% mom), the worst result since January. Meanwhile, annual average retail sales growth rose to 14.2% in July (June: +13.4%).

Tougher restrictions likely continued to weigh on retail sales in August. However, September onwards could see stronger underlying momentum in retail sales, assuming that domestic cases of the virus are brought under control.

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