Czech retail sales growth eases to 5.2% in Dec 2013

By bne IntelliNews February 5, 2014

Czech retail sales grew by 5.2% y/y in December 2013 easing from a nearly three-year high of 6.1% in November when shoppers rushed to buy goods before prices rose as a result of the central bank’s interventions to weaken the koruna.

The growth in December was supported by a robust expansion of auto sales and non-food goods, data from the statistics office showed.

On a working day adjusted basis, retail sales in the last month of 2013 increased by 3.6% y/y and when adjusted for seasonal factors they went up 1.2% m/m. December 2013 had one working day more than in the same month of 2012.

Auto sales increased for the ninth straight month in December posting an annual growth of 16.8%, the strongest since Jan 2011. Retail sales, including automotive fuel, also increased but at the much weaker pace of 1.8%, easing from 3.3% in November.

In full-2013 retail sales in the country increased by 1% improving from a 1.1% decline in 2012.

IntelliNews comment: Despite easing from November, the Czech retail sales growth remained strong in December indicating a recovering consumer confidence as the economy emerges from a protracted recession. Refined data on Jan 9 showed the Czech GDP rising for the second straight quarter in Q3 ending an 18-month long slump. Real wages that grew for the first time in three quarters in Q3 also support a growth in retail sales. The central bank's interventions on the currency market had a positive effect on retail sales in November but in the months to come it may hurt consumption as higher import prices will lead to a rise in shop prices.

Related Articles

Czech judiciary denounces Poland's move to end separation of powers

Senior Czech judges on July 21 denounced Poland's judicial overhaul as an attack on the rule of law. With big street protests in the Czech Republic's neighbour seemingly gathering momentum – 120 ... more

Strongly profitable Czech petrochemical maker Unipetrol puts cracker explosion behind it

Unipetrol looks to have finally got over the August 2015 fire and explosion that wrecked its steam cracker, an indispensable installation in the production of ethylene feedstock needed to manufacture ... more

Evolution Equity Partners closes $125mn cybersecurity-focused fund

Evolution Equity Partners announced on 17 July the final closing of a new fund with total capital commitments of $125mn to make investments in cybersecurity and next generation enterprise software ... more