Estonian retail sales grew 5% y/y at constant prices in August, according to data released by Statistics Estonia on September 30.
The reading marks an improvement on the somewhat feeble growth of 2% in July, which was only the third of the last 12 months to see retail sales growth below 5%. The expansion of shop turnover is being driven by rising wages and low inflation, with consumption a major pillar for economic growth.
On a monthly basis retail sales fell 1% in August. Nominal sales came in at €561.9mn. Sales of manufactured goods increased 15% y/y, accelerating rapidly from a 3% expansion seen in July. Within that segment, sales fared best in the pharmaceutical goods and cosmetics segments, both growing 21%, as well as those via mail order or the internet, where the growth came in at 19%.
Turnover at grocery stores was 1% smaller on the year, after two months of weak growth. Sales of automotive fuel also fell, by 2%, because of a high base effect and the slowing price fall of fuels, Estonian Statistics notes.