According to the latest flash report of the Central Statistical Office, on the basis of data adjusted for calendar effects, in January 2012 the volume of retail sales was higher by 0.6 percent in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year. This figure places Hungary among the twelve EU member countries which registered growth compared to the first month of 2011.
The increase of retail sales was primarily the result of the rise in the trade volume of retail units selling food, beverages and tobacco, as well as furniture and household goods stores which constitute a substantial share of retail industry. The most dynamic growth, however, was registered at the less significant sectors of parcel delivery and internet services providers. In non-specialized stores, which make up the 47 percent of overall sales, the volume of sales increased by 1.1 percent in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year.
Source: Central Statistical Office
The non-food retail sector has expanded by 2 percent in comparison to January 2011. Within the sector, sales rose by 3.3 percent in furniture and household goods stores which have the greatest share in retail sales (10 percent of the overall retail sales volume). The increase in the sales volume of parcel delivery and internet services providers was also remarkable where trade volume growth was 32.3 percent. High growth figures were also registered at stores for non-specialized items (8.1 percent), textiles, clothing and footwear (8.4 percent) as well as perfumes (10.8 percent). On the other hand, sales declined at retail units for books, information technology, other manufactured goods (2.2 percent), pharmaceutical and medical goods (7.8 percent) as well as second-hand goods (13.4 percent).
Due to high fuel prices, retail sales at filling stations, which constitute 19 percent of overall volume, declined by 2.2 percent.
In comparison to December 2011 in the first month of this year, the volume of trade of food, beverages and tobacco practically stagnated, while fuel sales increased by 0.8 percent month-on-month.
According to the Eurostat report, in euro-zone countries retail sales stagnated in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year, whereas they increased in the EU 27 by 0.7 percent. Currently data for 19 countries is available, which implies that the volume of retail sales increased in 12 countries – including Hungary --, and declined in 7 others.
(Ministry for National Economy)