The forecast: We expect total retail sales in China will have grown by 11.0% in 2021, the strongest growth since 2017. This is an increase from our Q2 2021 projection of 6.5%.
The stronger-than-expected increase in total retail sales can be attributed to brick-and-mortar growth, which rose to 8.1%. Our previous expectation was a 2.3% decrease.
- All retail product categories in China are expected to record higher growth compared with 2020.
The food and beverage and health/personal care/beauty categories are expected to remain strong, both increasing by 11.5%. Food and beverage product sales will take up a 15.9% share of the total retail sales.
- The only categories that will not rebound to pre-pandemic levels in 2021 are furniture and home furnishings and apparel and accessories. However, apparel and accessories will see 9.6% growth, driven mostly by sales of gold, silver, and jewelry.