What Happened: China's national retail sales rose just 8.5 percent over the Lunar New Year, marking the slowest growth rate in a decade, the South China Morning Post reported Feb. 11. China's tourism revenue also grew at a slower pace of 8.2 percent, compared to 12.1 percent in 2018.
Why It Matters: As China continues to face signs of an economic slowdown amid an ongoing trade war with the United States and reduced economic output, its domestic consumption will serve as a significant indicator of potential economic stabilization in 2019.
Background: The Chinese government recently launched various measures, such as tax incentives or subsidies, to boost domestic consumption amid soaring household debt. Beijing is also expected to announce a tax reform package in March that may include additional steps to lower the financial burden for private companies and individuals.
- U.S., China: Trade Talks End on an Up Note (Feb. 1, 2019)
- Why a Global Economic Downshift, No Matter How Small, Matters (Jan. 24, 2019)
- China: A New Year Brings Lower Expectations for Economic Growth (Jan. 21, 2019)