China: Retail sales growth picks up in August
Retail sales grew 5.4% in year-on-year terms in August, double Julys figure and above market expectations. The reading was likely supported by a lower unemployment rate in the month. Sales of food, fuel and vehicles rose strongly in August, with the latter boosted by government incentives, while furniture sales declined sharply due to the weak property market.
On a monthly basis, retail sales grew 0.3% in seasonally-adjusted terms in July, which was below Junes 0.8% expansion. Meanwhile, annual average retail sales growth fell to 4.9% in July (June: +7.3%). Retail sales momentum in September is likely to weaken given the snapback of Covid-19 restrictions in several parts of the country.