|Y/Y % Change||10.9%||10.2%||10.7%|
|M/M % Change||0.71%||0.93%|
March retail sales grew just 10.2 percent from a year earlier, the slowest since February 2006 and missing forecasts at 10.9 percent. On the month, sales were up 0.71 percent. For the year to date, sales were 10.6 percent higher. Urban sales increased 10.0 percent after adding 10.6 percent and rural sales were up 11.5 percent after 11.6 percent.
All categories increased with the exception of autos which were down 1.3 percent on the year and oil & oil products which were 8.0 percent lower. Communication sales soared 37.0 percent. Home appliances added 16.2 percent while household nondurables were up 15.6 percent.
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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