City skyline in China

China Retail

China Retail

Retail Sales in China

Over the past decade leading to 2022, China's economy recorded an average retail sales growth rate of 8.2%, in line with the 8.2% average for Asia-Pacific. In 2022, retail sales growth was -0.2%.

China Retail Chart

Note: This chart displays Retail Sales (ann. var. %) for China from 2019 to 2018.
Source: National Bureau of Statistics China.

China Retail Data

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Retail Sales (ann. var. %) 4.0 8.0 -4.8 12.5 -0.2

Real-sector data for April is generally downbeat

Industrial output increased 6.7% in April, up from 4.5% in March and overshooting market expectations. April’s acceleration was due to stronger manufacturing and mining growth. Also in April, retail sales rose 2.3% year on year, down from March’s 3.1% increase and well below market projections. Moreover, fixed investment growth in January–April was 4.2%, down from 4.5% in January–March and below market expectations, as state investment growth slowed. In addition, property indicators in April were downbeat, with double-digit year-on-year falls in property sales and property investment and a steeper decline in home prices. The latest data points to a divide between a more solid external sector—industrial output and goods exports both beat expectations in April—and a softer domestic economy.

On the near-term outlook for retail sales, DBS analysts said: “Retail sales growth will likely regain its momentum in May. Domestic traffic and revenue during the Labor Day holiday exceeded the 2019 level by 28% and 14%, respectively. Positive wealth effect from the rebounding stock market could be another catalyst. Potential government subsidies for consumable upgrades will lift retail sales growth in the months ahead.” On the property sector, Nomura analysts said: “We believe growth momentum remains weak, as the property fallout drags on. The April Politburo meeting highlighted a major shift in policy focus from public housing towards rescuing presold homes, which is fully in line with our calls and policy suggestions over the past year.”

Consensus Forecasts and Projections for the next ten years

How should you choose a forecaster if some are too optimistic while others are too pessimistic? FocusEconomics collects Chinese retail projections for the next ten years from a panel of 9 analysts at the leading national, regional and global forecast institutions. These projections are then validated by our in-house team of economists and data analysts and averaged to provide one Consensus Forecast you can rely on for each indicator. By averaging all forecasts, upside and downside forecasting errors tend to cancel each other out, leading to the most reliable retail forecast available for Chinese retail.

Download one of our sample reports to visualize what a Consensus Forecast is and see our Chinese retail projections.

Want to get access to the full dataset of Chinese retail forecasts? Send an email to info@focus-economics.com.

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