Today, the National Bureau of Statistics released the retail sales data for social consumer goods in September 2023. In September, the total retail sales of social consumer goods reached 3.9826 trillion yuan ($544.6 billion), an increase of 5.5% compared to the same period last year. From January to September, the total retail sales of social consumer goods amounted to 34.2107 trillion yuan ($4.68 trillion), showing a year-on-year growth of 6.8%.
In the cosmetics sector, the total retail sales of cosmetics in September 2023 reached 32.6 billion yuan ($4.46 billion), a year-on-year increase of 1.6%. From January to September, the total retail sales of cosmetics amounted to 296.6 billion yuan ($40.56 billion), with a year-on-year growth of 6.8%.
Looking at the data from January to September this year, it is evident that although there was growth in September compared to the previous year, the overall growth rate has been fluctuating since reaching its peak in April. Apart from a negative growth in July, September had the lowest growth rate this year. On one hand, this may be influenced by the impact of the Double Eleven shopping festival on September consumption. On the other hand, it reflects a return to rational consumption and a decrease in consumer demand compared to a previous period.
Comparing September with previous years, this year’s retail sales of cosmetics reached a new high, and the negative growth compared to last year has improved. However, the growth rate still lags behind the double-digit growth before the pandemic.
Furthermore, from January to September, the national online retail sales reached 10.8198 trillion yuan, with a year-on-year growth of 11.6%. Among them, the online retail sales of physical goods amounted to 9.0435 trillion yuan ($1.24 trillion), showing an 8.9% increase. Online retail sales accounted for 26.4% of the total retail sales of social consumer goods.
In terms of customs data, in September, China imported 33,221.1 tons of cosmetics and personal care products, with an import value of 11.11 billion yuan ($1.52 billion). From January to September, the total import volume of cosmetics and personal care products reached 273,000 tons, a year-on-year decrease of 14.2%. The import value amounted to 96.35 billion yuan ($13.18 billion), showing a 12.7% decrease compared to the same period last year.
The National Bureau of Statistics stated that the national economy has continued to recover and develop in a high-quality manner during the first three quarters, laying a solid foundation for achieving the annual development goals. However, it is important to recognize that the external environment is becoming more complex and challenging, and domestic demand is still insufficient. The foundation for economic recovery and improvement needs to be further consolidated.