China Retail April 2019

China

China: Retail sales growth plummets in April

May 15, 2019

In April, nominal retail sales grew 7.2% on an annual basis, which represented the weakest reading since 2003. The print was well below both the 8.7% increase in March and market expectations of an 8.6% rise.

April’s deceleration reflected weaker sales of oil and oil-related products and household appliances as well as a contraction in clothing and footwear. Conversely, the decline in automobile sales softened in April.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, retail sales expanded 0.47% in April, down from the 0.79% increase in March. Meanwhile, annual average growth in retail sales inched down from 8.7% in March to 8.5% in April.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect retail sales to increase 8.7% in 2019, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate. In 2020, the panel foresees retail sales expanding 8.5%.


Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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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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