On Tuesday, [a certain country's] retail sales figures will be released for the month of September. Over the past several months, those numbers have been generally disappointing. Now, investors are hoping for a rebound. A beat on the figures will prove that [last-mentioned country's] consumer is back, cash in hand, and hitting the stores. I don’t know what “a beat on the figures” exactly means. I personally think it can have two different meanings: (i) retail sales figures for September is better than those for the past several months, or (ii) retail sales figures for September is better than analysts’ estimate for this month (as beat is often used in finance to mean beating the estimate). Which one do you think “a beat on the figures” really means? Here, what does "the figures" refer to? Another question: if “A beats B”, can I say this is “a beat of A on B”? I ask this because I don't know what beats what in "a beat on the figures". Is it something else beats "the figures" or "the figures" beats something else? Thank you.