CN: Retail Sales

Thu Sep 14 07:00:00 CDT 2017

Consensus Actual Previous
Y/Y % Change 10.5% 10.1% 10.4%
M/M % Change 0.76% 0.73%

Chinese retail sales grew 10.1 percent on the year in August, slowing from 10.4 percent in July and falling short of the consensus forecast of 10.5 percent. This is the weakest year-on-year growth since the start of the year. Retail sales rose 0.76 percent on the month in August after an increase of 0.71 percent in July.

The decline in headline retail sales growth in August reflects weaker year-on-year growth in eight of the twelve major spending categories covered in the report. Sales of automobiles rose 7.9 percent on the year in August, down from 8.1 percent in July, while the year-on-year growth in grain and food oil sales slowed from 10.7 percent to 8.5 percent, the weakest growth so far this year. Sales of furniture, oil and oil products, and home appliances also recorded weaker growth in August. This was partly offset by stronger sales of communication equipment, up 12.2 percent on the year in August compared with 7.9 percent in July, with year-on-year growth in clothing sales also picking up from 6.4 percent to 8.9 percent.

Year-on-year growth in urban retail sales dropped from 10.2 percent in July to 9.9 percent in August, while rural retail sales growth slowed from 11.7 percent to 11.5 percent.

Retail Sales measure goods that are sold to the consumer or end-user, generally in small quantities and in the state in which they were purchased by the retailer. China's retail sales are reported monthly. The critical value is the change from the same month in the previous year.

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.