Czech retail sales grew by 6% y/y in April 2014 quickening from a revised 5.1% the month before driven by a robust demand during the Easter holidays, data from the statistics office showed. The reading was in line market expectations.
On a working day adjusted basis, retail sales in the fourth month of 2014 expanded by 4.9% y/y but when adjusted for seasonal factors they shrank by 0.1% m/m, softening from a 0.4% m/m decline in March. April 2014 had had the same number of working days as in the corresponding month a year ago.
Auto sales increased for the tenth straight month in April posting an annual growth of 9.8%, weakening from 13.8% y/y in March. Retail sales, including automotive fuel, also increased but at the much weaker pace of 4.3% y/y, yet, they quickened from a 1.3% rise in March.
IntelliNews comment: Czech retail sales grew for the sixth straight month in April reflecting recovering consumer confidence as economic growth is gaining strength after the country emerged from a protracted recession last year. The rising retail sales bode well for the economy that posted a fourth consecutive quarterly rise in Q1 and is on track to return to a full-year growth in 2014 after two years of contraction. The statistics office said on June 4 the GDP expanded by 0.4% q/q and by 2.5% y/y in Q1 helped by recovering household demand. Household consumption, which had been a drag on growth in 2013, grew 1.5% y/y in Q1.
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