Hungary’s retail sales growth speeds up to 6.2% y/y in January 2014 - revised data.

By bne IntelliNews March 27, 2014

Hungary’s calendar-adjusted retail sales increased by 6.2% y/y in January 2014, speeding up from a 3.6% y/y increase in the previous month, the statistics office said. The preliminary estimate published on March 6 showed a 3.9% y/y increase in January.

The statistical office noted it has revised the retail volume indices back to July 2013 after replacing sample-based estimates on tobacco sales with comprehensive data from the state company overseeing the segment. This resulted in a rise of between 1.2pps and 2.3pps with previous data releases.

Retail sales increased by 1.3% m/m in seasonal and calendar-adjusted terms in January, reversing from December's 0.8% y/y drop.

The annual growth reflected an 8.5% y/y increase in food trade, a 4.1% y/y rise in non-food trade as well as a 4.9% y/y rise in automotive fuel sales. The latter grew for the tenth month in row in January.

Within the non-food category, sales of textiles, clothing, footwear increased by 8.3% y/y. Sales in non specialized stores advanced by 10.2% y/y and the turnover in the cosmetics stores went up 11.5% y/y. Sales of furniture and electrical goods grew by 6.8% y/y. This category reversed to an annual growth in September 2013, after dropping in the previous 21 months.  Retail trade in second hand stores stagnated in the month.

By contrast, the retail trade of pharmaceutical declined by 2.8% y/y and sales of books, computer equipment dropped by 4.2% y/y in January 2014.

Mail orders retail trade remained the fastest growing segment (26.4% 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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