|Y/Y % Change||10.2%||10.1%||10.0%|
|M/M % Change||0.81%||0.74%|
May retail sales were up 10.1 percent on the year, up from 10.0 percent in April. While an improvement, the reading is still well below the 2014 average growth rate of 12 percent. Sales were up 0.81 percent on the month. Year to date sales were 10.4 percent, unchanged from the month before. One reason for low spending is subdued inflation. In April and May, CPI readings were 1.5 percent and 1.2 percent respectively. China's inflation target is 3.0 percent.
Urban retail sales edged up to 9.9 percent from 9.8 percent in April while rural sales were up 11.6 percent after 11.4 percent. Auto sales improved to a gain of 2.1 percent after 1.6 percent in April. Oil products sales continued to retreat but at a slower rate down 5.5 percent after dropping 7.4 percent the month before.
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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