Czech retail sales increased in September 2013 erasing a decline in the previous month helped by a sharp rise in Internet sales, strong auto sales and two more working days than in the same period of 2012. Retail sales grew 3.7% in unadjusted terms in September, following a 0.3% drop in August, data from the statistics office showed. The reading was in line with market expectations according to a Reuters poll.
On a working day adjusted basis, retail sales in the ninth month of 2013 increased by 0.5% y/y but when adjusted for seasonal factors they went down by 0.7% m/m.
Auto sales increased for the sixth straight month in September and at a much faster rate than in August. Sales and repairs of motor vehicles grew by 9.5% y/y in September, after climbing 4% a month earlier. Retail sales, including automotive fuel, advanced by 1.5% y/y in September, following a 1.8% y/y drop in August.
IntelliNews comment: The September rise in Czech retail sales gives hopes for a recovering consumer confidence as the economy emerged from a record-long slump. Yet, the growth will be restrained by falling real wages. In Q2 real wages in the country fell by 0.3% y/y, following a 2.2% y/y drop in the first quarter. Rising unemployment is also dampening the retail sales growth.
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