China: Retail sales expand at fastest pace in 15 months in June
In June, nominal retail sales grew 9.8% on an annual basis, marking the fastest acceleration in over one year. The print was above both the 8.6% increase in May and market expectations of an 8.5% rise.
June’s acceleration mostly reflected a surge in auto sales as well as stronger sales of food and household appliances. About the surge in car sales, Yi David Wang, head of China economics at Credit Suisse, comments that:
“The uptick in retail sales appears to be driven by auto sales, which likely resulted from the slash in sales price as dealers attempt to clear their inventories ahead of new emission standards come into effect. Hence, we are less sure that this uptick will be sustainable going forward.”
On a seasonally-adjusted basis, retail sales expanded 0.96% in June, up from the 0.75% increase in May. Meanwhile, annual average growth in retail sales was stable at May’s 8.5% in June.