China: Retail sales moderate to lowest growth rate in more than three years
July 13, 2012
In June, nominal retail sales grew 13.7% over the same month last year, which was an inch below the 13.8% rise observed in May but overshot market expectations of a 13.4% increase. The reading represented, in fact, the lowest growth rate since July 2006 - excluding the January and February figures, which are highly distorted by seasonal effects related to the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday. The slowdown mainly reflected lower growth in the transport as well as in the oil and oil products categories. Compared to the previous month, retail sales expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.08% in June, following on a 1.16% increase in May. Owing to the weaker June print, the trend continues to point downwards, with annual average growth in retail sales falling from 16.2% in May to 15.9% in June.