China Retail April 2020


China: Retail sales drop for fourth month in a row in April

May 15, 2020

Retail sales fell 7.5% year-on-year in April (March: -15.8% yoy). The print was below the 6.0% contraction that market analysts had expected.

The softer decline mostly reflected a flat reading in car sales as well as smaller contractions in sales of household appliances and clothing and footwear.

On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, retail sales rose at a softer pace of 0.32% in April (March: +0.38% mom). Meanwhile, the trend pointed down, with the annual average growth of retail sales coming in at 0.0% in April, down from March's 1.2%.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect retail sales to increase 1.1% in 2020, which is down 3.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate. In 2021, the panel foresees retail sales expanding 10.2%.

Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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China Retail Chart

China Retail April 20 20

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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