China: Retail sales grow at fastest pace since March 2021 in April, but undershoot expectations
Retail sales increased 18.4% compared to the same month of the previous year in April, which was above March’s 10.6% increase and marked the best reading since March 2021. However, growth was flattered by an extremely favorable base effect—in April last year retail sales plummeted due to lockdowns—and was below market expectations of a 21.0% rise. Catering and jewelry sales saw the sharpest rises; in contrast, sales of construction materials fell, in a sign of the still-shaky property market.
On a monthly basis, retail sales increased 0.5% in seasonally adjusted terms in April, which was below March’s 0.8% expansion.