China’s retail market continues to demonstrate strong growth, with total retail sales of consumer goods reaching ¥3.49 trillion ($546.2 billion) in April 2023, representing a year-on-year increase of 18.4%, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS).
This growth was driven by a 16.5% increase in retail sales of consumer goods other than motor vehicles, which reached ¥3.13 trillion ($490.3 billion).
In the first four months of 2023, China’s total retail sales of consumer goods reached ¥14.98 trillion ($2.35 trillion), showing a year-on-year increase of 8.5%. Retail sales of consumer goods other than motor vehicles rose by 9.0%, reaching ¥13.57 trillion ($2.13 trillion).
The NBS data reveals a clear divide between urban and rural areas, with urban retail sales of consumer goods amounting to ¥3.04 trillion ($475.6 billion) in April 2023, up 18.6% year-on-year. Rural retail sales reached ¥451.3 billion ($70.6 billion), representing a 17.3% increase.
From January to April, retail sales of consumer goods in urban areas increased by 8.4%, while rural retail sales grew by 8.6%.
Significant shifts in consumption patterns were also observed, with retail sales of commodities rising by 15.9% year-on-year to reach ¥3.12 trillion ($487.7 billion) in April.
In contrast, the income of the catering industry surged by 43.8% to ¥375.1 billion ($58.7 billion), indicating a strong recovery in the hospitality sector. Between January and April, retail sales of commodities increased by 7.3%, while the income of the catering industry rose by 19.8%.
Different retail formats experienced varying levels of growth. From January to April, retail sales of supermarkets, convenience stores, professional stores, specialty stores, and department stores increased by 0.7%, 8.1%, 6.5%, 2.9%, and 11.1% year-on-year, respectively.
Online retail sales also saw significant growth, with national online retail sales reaching ¥4.41 trillion ($690.5 billion) from January to April, marking a 12.3% year-on-year increase. Online retail sales of physical commodities accounted for 24.8% of total retail sales of consumer goods, with food, clothing, and consumer goods growing by 9.0%, 13.5%, and 9.6%, respectively.
China’s retail market outlook remains positive, with strong growth observed in April 2023 and the year’s first four months.
Changing consumption patterns and the continued growth of online retail sales indicate that the market is adapting to evolving consumer preferences and behaviors.
As the global economy continues to recover from the pandemic, China’s retail market is expected to maintain its growth trajectory and remain a significant driver of economic growth.
China Online Retail Sales Grew 8.6% in Q1 2023
China’s retail industry experienced robust growth in March, with total retail sales of consumer goods reaching 3,785.5 billion yuan, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 10.6%, according to data from National Bureau of Statistics of China.
Retail sales of consumer goods, excluding motor vehicles, rose by 10.5% to 3,359.1 billion yuan.
Between January and March, total retail sales of consumer goods amounted to 11,492.2 billion yuan, marking a 5.8% increase year-on-year. Retail sales of consumer goods other than motor vehicles reached 10,409.4 billion yuan, up 6.8%.
Urban areas witnessed a 10.7% year-on-year increase in retail sales of consumer goods, totaling 3,286.8 billion yuan in March, while retail sales in rural areas rose by 10.0% to 498.7 billion yuan.
In Q1 2023, China retail sales in urban areas increased by 5.7% to 9,966.4 billion yuan, and by 6.2% to 1,525.8 billion yuan in rural areas.
In March, commodity retail sales reached 3,414.8 billion yuan, a 9.1% year-on-year increase, while the catering industry’s income grew by 26.3% to 370.7 billion yuan.
Between January and March, commodity retail sales rose by 4.9% to 10,278.6 billion yuan, and the catering industry’s income increased by 13.9% to 1,213.6 billion yuan.
Different retail formats experienced varying growth rates from January to March. Retail sales in supermarkets, convenience, professional, specialty, and department stores increased by 1.4%, 8.8%, 5.7%, 0.2%, and 9.2% year-on-year, respectively.
Online retail sales saw a significant boost during the first quarter, with a year-on-year increase of 8.6% to 3,286.3 billion yuan.
Online retail sales of physical commodities reached 2,783.5 billion yuan, up 7.3%, accounting for 24.2% of the total retail sales of social consumer goods. Online retail sales of food, clothing, and consumer goods grew by 7.3%, 8.6%, and 6.9%, respectively.
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