China: Retail sales rise in March
April 13, 2012
In March, nominal retail sales grew 15.2% over the same month last year, which was above both the combined January-February figure of a 14.7% rise and the 15.0% increase expected by market analysts. The expansion was broad-based among all main sub-components, with the exception of automobile sales. Compared to the previous month, retail sales expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.18% in March, following on a 1.31% increase in February. Despite the stronger March print, the trend continues to slow, with annual average growth in retail sales falling slightly from 16.9% in February to 16.7% in March. Meanwhile, the consumer confidence index published by the NBS improved, rising from 103.9 points in January to 105.0 points in February and marking the highest level since July 2011. A reading above the 100-threshold means that optimists outnumber pessimists.