Hungary's calendar-adjusted retail sales decreased for the twelfth consecutive month in March 2013, decreasing by 2.9% y/y to HUF 659.7bn (EUR 2.27bn), the statistics office said on May 24 revising preliminary figures, released earlier this month and showing an annual drop of 2.8%. The drop in March was faster than February’s 1.2% y/y decline. In monthly terms, sales edged down by 0.7% in seasonal and calendar-adjusted terms, after stagnating in the previous month.
The annual drop reflected a decline in both food and non-food trade, down by 1.1% y/y and 3.4% y/y, respectively. In addition, automotive fuel sales contracted by 4.8% y/y. Within the non-food category, the steepest decrease of 11.8% y/y was reported for sales of furniture and electrical goods as well as for sales of textiles, clothing, footwear, down 6.2% on the year. The turnover in non-specialized stores dropped by 2.4% y/y. Sales in second hand stores and cosmetics declined by 3.9% y/y and 0.5% y/y, respectively.
On the other hand, sales in pharmaceutical stores as well as in the books and computer equipment stores reversed to an annual growth in March. Mail orders retail trade remained the fastest growing segment (23.8% y/y), positively influenced by the strong expansion of online sales. However, the sector had a relatively low contribution to the overall index.
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