|Y/Y % Change||11.6%||10.7%||11.9%|
|M/M % Change||0.93%||1.01%|
Retail sales for January/February were up a less than anticipated 10.7 percent when compared with the previous year. Sales were up a monthly 0.93 percent. Data are often skewed for the first two months of the year because of Lunar New Year dates which vary from year to year. Urban retail sales were up 10.6 percent after increasing 12.0 percent in December while rural sales were up 11.6 percent after 12.4 percent.
Among the subcategories, oil and oil product sales dropped 6.7 percent after increasing 1.0 percent. However auto sales improved to an increase of 10.8 percent after a sluggish 6.1 percent. Communications equipment increased 38.5 percent, down from December's 58.1 percent increase. Sales of clothing , grain & fuel oil, clothing and stationery were weaker on the year.
Retail sales are sales of a physical commodity or the income of catering services sold or provided by enterprises to individuals and social organizations for non-production and non-operation purposes.
Retail sales tend to have a muted impact because the Chinese economy is not heavily reliant on consumer spending. However, the government is trying to stimulate consumer spending to give the economy more balance. To this end, the government put into place a basket of stimulus measures, including government subsidies and tax breaks for home appliances and cars, to expand consumption to sustain the economic growth, which was slowed by a slump in exports amid the global economic downturn.
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