China: Retail sales growth gains momentum in March
Retail sales increased 34.2% compared to the same month of the previous year in March, which was above January–February’s 33.8% increase. The reading marked the strongest expansion since January 1995, but was flattered by the highly favorable base effect.
On a monthly basis, retail sales increased 1.8% in seasonally-adjusted terms in March, which was above February’s 1.5% expansion. Meanwhile, annual average retail sales growth rose to 8.9% in March (February: +4.7%), which marked an over two-year high.
Stronger private spending should be an important growth driver this year—after lagging other indicators such as industrial production in 2020—as sentiment improves and the labor market strengthens.