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How Did China’s Retail Sales Look in February?

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China’s retail sales

On a year-over-year basis, China’s retail sales were weaker in February 2017, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China. The data were released on March 13, 2017.

The country’s retail sales rose 9.5% in February 2017, compared to their 10.9% rise in December 2016. In January, retail sales showed the same improvement. The reading was below the market’s expectation of a 10.4% rise.

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Sector-by-sector performance

Building material sales rose 12.9%, furniture sales rose 11.8%, home appliance sales rose 5.6%, communications equipment sales rose 17.8%, personal care sales rose 9.2%, automobile sales fell 1%, and cosmetics sales rose 10.6% in February.

Economic impact

The subdued sales in these different sectors reflect consumers’ worries about the Chinese economy. After the slowdown in economic activity in China (FXI) (YINN) (ASHR), its economy is going through a transitional phase. It’s transitioning from a manufacturing hub to a consumer-based economy. 

Consumerism will likely play a large role in China’s future economic growth. Consumption patterns are changing in the country. Chinese consumers (MCHI) are becoming more selective toward the products and services that they use. As China is one of the world’s (ACWI) (VT) most important economies, a slowdown in its growth could be a worry for the global economy.

In the next part of this series, we’ll analyze the performance of China’s industrial production in February 2017.

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