Czech retail sales declined in August 2013, erasing a gain in the previous month indicating that it may take a while until consumer confidence shows a sustainable recovery. Retail sales dipped 0.3% in unadjusted terms in August, following 4% rise in July, data from the statistics office showed. Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting sales to drop by 1% y/y.
On a working day adjusted basis, retail sales in the eighth month of 2013 increased by 1.3% y/y and when adjusted for seasonal factors they went up by 0.8% m/m. August 2013 had one working day less than in the same month last year.
Auto sales increased for the fifth straight month in August albeit at a slower pace than in July but helped partly offset the decline in the other category – retail trade. Sales and repairs of motor vehicles grew by 4% y/y in August, after climbing 10.7% a month earlier. On the other hand, retail sales, including automotive fuel, fell by 1.8% y/y in August, contrasting with a 1.4% hike in July.
IntelliNews comment: The August decline in Czech retail sales shows that consumer confidence continues to be weak amid the fragile economic recovery. The economy emerged from an 18-month long slump in the second quarter thanks to a pick-up in domestic and foreign demand. Falling real wages and still high unemployment rate are further dampening retail sales.
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