Rising wages have caused retail sales to gain 5 percent in 2017 and 6.1 percent in the period December 2016-December 2017. As result, retail sales have been on the rise for the 54th consecutive month. Job growth, favourable economic conditions and the six-year wage and tax agreement have also been among the positive factors seen behind the upward trend.

Sales growth was observed in all three major retail sectors. The 10.9 percent increase in the sales of non-food retailers signals that the Hungarian families have realized long-delayed purchases and bought durable consumer goods. In December 2017, food and non-specialized food retailers and filling stations saw sales increases of 2.2 percent and 4.1 percent year-on-year, respectively.

The rate of growth in the sector exceeded the EU average of 2.4 percent.  In comparison to January 2010, the volume of retail sales grew by more than 25 percent. Last year, double-digit wage growth has provided, on average, more than one-month of extra income for families. Robust wage growth is expected to continue to lift household consumption and, as a consequence, the volume of retail sales.

(Ministry for National Economy)