China retail sales rise for the first time this year

Officially released data for retail sales in China show a rise for the first time this year as the economy recovers from the impact of the coronavirus.

Figures for August showed a year-on-year increase of 0.5 per cent in retail revenues. Dramatic increases were seen in sales of communication equipment (25.1 per cent) and automobiles (11.8 per cent).

By contrast, figures for the months previous to August this year showed a drop of 8.6 per cent, during which time online sales increased 15.8 per cent.

China’s economic recovery has been fuelled by pent-up demand, government stimulus and strong exports.

“We think that China’s economic recovery is on a reasonably firm footing now and should continue through the fourth quarter and into 2021,” Oxford Economics head of Asia Louis Kuijs told the South China Morning Post, “with solid investment growth, gradually recovering consumption momentum and resilient exports.”

China’s industrial output also accelerated at the fastest rate this year during August, according to data from the National Statistics Bureau.

“We expect a further, albeit gradual, recovery of the services sector, a steady improvement in retail sales and elevated fixed-asset investment growth, said Nomura’s chief China economist Ting Lu.

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