Retail sales: China takes the helm!


China DragonMy readers have already used to my publications, reviews of important macroeconomical indexes of the world’s largest economies. Today I propose retail sales dynamics in review.

Before Christmas sale has already begun, and consumer activity demonstrated during the sales will indicate the consumer confidence and purchasing power in different corners of the globe. But now we can’t examine “high season” results for 2012/2013. And for the present let’s consider the economic data of the countries in which sales has already started.


As it should be expected, the Eurozone gives no pleasure. But, only summarized data of the E-17 for September has been already published, when retail sales increased from  -1.3% to -0.8% y/y. Of course, its increase is a rise to optimism, but restrained one: still retail sales growth rates are slowing in comparison with last year. It is unlikely that the index will increase in October according to the statistics per annum. For example, according to the data of the Bank of France, in October retail sales growth rates slowed down by 4,7% (!) in comparison with the rate in October 2011. Retail sales in Germany also remained in “red zone” (but, there retail sales index strengthened to -0.8% y/y from -3.1% y/y in September).

But there are different countries in the Europe, which kept their own national currency, that is why they are less exposed to the debt crisis in the Eurozone. There retail sales index is better. Thus, in October volume of retail sales in Great Britain exceeded last year rate by 0.6% , and in September the index was even better : +2.5% y/y. the retail sales growth rate in Switzerland is even better.(+5.4% y/y in September).

Recuring to Great Britain, I remind that Governor  of the Bank of England Mervyn King warned that the GDP growth rate may reduce in the fourth quarter. In connection with it there is serious fear of fall of retail sales in the country by the end of the year. These fears were partly confirmed by the BRC report for September about volume of retail sales in the same sales area, according to which the index decreased from +1.5% to -0.1% y/y. But, maybe, these are exaggerations. In any case, the Confederation of British manufacturers announced about the rise of retail sales in November to 33% after 30% in October and 6% in September.


In October Japanese retail sales index decreased to -1.2% y/y after +0.4% y/y in September. At the same time sales volume in supermarkets decreased from -2.0% to -4.0%, and sales in department stores  – from -0.2% to -2.4% y/y. The main reason of negative dynamics became finished government stimulus program to fund purchases, so called “ecologic transport”.


The US retail sales dynamics may be simply observed according to the Reedbook and ICSC/Goldman Sachs indexes published weekly. The index rate for October and November are the following:

The last day of rated week Reedbook ICSC/Goldman Sachs
November 24 +4.5% y/y +4.0% y/y
November 17 +2.8% y/y +2.5% y/y
November 10 +1.6% y/y +1.8% y/y
November 3 +0.8% y/y -1.4% y/y
October 20 +1.6% y/y +2.9% y/y
October 13 +1.8% y/y +2.7% y/y
October 6 +1.6% y/y +2.8% y/y

In the end of October and at the beginning  of November Sandy Hurricane worsened the statistics a little, but as a whole the US retail sales index is recovering when approaching the end of the year.


All achievements of the USA and even Switzerland are fading when look through Chinese economic statistics: +14.5% y/y in October, +1.42% y/y in September. This is where consumers feel themselves more confident and purchasing powerful!


Statistics of the retail sales dynamics  in the first and second world’s largest economies (American and Chinese correspondingly) brought out  optimism concerning  Global economic recovery starting 2013. But, as the third worlds’ largest economy – Japanese – and the eurozone ( if consider the E-17 as a single economic system, it is the very second  world’s largest economy which is almost equal to the US one in size) didn’t reached even the  last year low of this index, we may count only on very slow world’s GDP growth in the first part of 2013.


About Author

I have been friend with currency market since 2006. I hope that this friendship is not only useful to me, because over the years I have repeatedly provided analytical services to various companies and media outlets. I love fundamental analysis. Every day, I am convinced that the statistics is not boring numbers but fascinating reading, which, moreover, can predict the future. Technical analysis is also not neglected, especially as my hobby - finding effective algorithms for automated trading systems.