Hungarian retail sales increased 4.5% y/y in November, according to both raw and calendar-adjusted data, statistics office KSH reported on January 25.
Despite a downward revision from a preliminary estimate of 4.7%, the November reading represents an improvement compared to the previous month, when the rate of expansion slowed to 2.6%. A pick-up in retail sales growth, together with an increase in consumer confidence in January, supports hope that strong private consumption can remain the main driver of economic growth in 2017.
In November, in specialized and non-specialized food shops, the volume of sales adjusted for calendar effects rose 2.3%. Turnover increased 7.4% in non-food retail trade and 3.9% in automotive fuel retailing.
Across the first eleven months of the year, the volume of sales – according to calendar-adjusted data – was 4.7% higher compared to the same period in 2015.
Throughout 2016, strong private consumption counterbalanced the feeble performance of the industrial and construction sectors. Analysts forecast that rising employment, income tax reduction and net real wage growth - which pushed to 7.5% y/y in the first eleven months of the year - will continue to provide a strong base for household consumption this year.