Hungary's retail sales rise 6.7% y/y in February 2014 - in line with flash estimate

By bne IntelliNews April 25, 2014

Hungary’s calendar-adjusted retail sales increased by 6.7% y/y in February 2014, speeding up from a 6.2% y/y increase in the previous month, the statistics office said on April 24, confirming the preliminary estimate made three weeks ago.

As the statistical office reported March 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 0.4% m/m in seasonal and calendar-adjusted terms in February, slower that January’s 0.9% y/y rise.

The annual growth reflected an 8.2% y/y increase in food trade, a 4.7% y/y rise in non-food trade as well as a 6.4% y/y rise in automotive fuel sales. The latter grew for the eleventh month in row in February.

Within the non-food category, sales of textiles, clothing, footwear increased by 9% y/y. Sales in non-specialsed stores advanced by 12.3% y/y and turnover in cosmetics stores went up 7.3% y/y. Sales of furniture and electrical goods grew by 8.4% 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 went up by 3.8% y/y.

By contrast, pharmaceutical sales declined by 1.1% y/y and sales of books, computer equipment dropped by 4.5% y/y in February.

Mail orders retail trade remained the fastest growing segment (24.6% 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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