Retail sales in China continue to grow after the coronavirus hitch.
Disposable income in 2020 continued to increase.
The National Bureau of Statistics of China published new economic data a few days ago. The population’s per capita disposable income increased by 4.7% in 2020 compared to the previous year and by 2.1% in price-adjusted terms to 32,187 yuan (approximately 4,100 euros) per capita (average, about 1.4 billion people).
The highest increase in expenditure was 5.1% (relative to the full year) in the food, tobacco, and alcohol consumption category, which accounts for 30.2% of the per capita disposable income (6,397 yuan, approximately 815 euros). Expenditure on housing and furnishings also increased by 3.2%.
Spending on clothing fell by 7.5%. Household goods fell by 1.7% and transport and traffic by 3.5%. Education, culture, and entertainment fell by 19.1%, and spending on health fell by 3.1%.
Chinese retail figures
Retail sales increased by 4.6% in December compared to the previous year (or by 4.4% excluding automobile sales), but growth for the full year 2020 is not yet back to the previous year’s level.
Total retail sales (excluding e-commerce) and including automobiles: 4,056.6 billion yuan (516.6 billion euros according to the current exchange rate), 3,569 billion yuan (454.5 billion euros) excluding automobiles. 3,569 billion yuan is 4.4% higher than the comparable previous year’s figure.
Full year 2020:
Total retail sales (excluding e-commerce) and including automobiles: 39,198 billion yuan (4,991.7 billion euros), 35,256 billion yuan (4,489.7 billion euros) excluding automobiles. 35,256 billion yuan is 4.1% below the previous year’s figure. Brick-and-mortar business once again started increasing since February 2020 but could not catch up to the previous year’s growth.
Online retail (e-commerce) increased by 10.9% year-on-year to 11,760.1 billion yuan (approximately 1,495 billion euros) in the same period.
Durable consumer goods, including electronic products in online retail, increased by 14.8%. Nondurable consumer goods such as food, beverages, medical devices, cosmetics, etc., increased by 30.6%, and the clothing/footwear category also experienced 5.8% online growth.
The share of e-commerce in total retail sales is thus about 25% and increasing.
Development depending on the format
Cumulatively from January to December 2020, supermarkets increased overall by 3.1% compared to the previous year, while formats such as department stores (–9.8%), specialist stores (–5.4%), and branded stores (–1.4%) continued to experience losses compared to the previous year. However, the losses were smaller than those up to the end of September 2020.
According to preliminary calculations by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, gross national product (GNP) was up 6.5% in the fourth quarter and up 2.3% cumulatively.