Lithuanian retail sales grew an unadjusted 8.1% y/y in November, according to data released by Statistics Lithuania on December 28.
The November result sees retail sales continue on the firm expansion track they have followed since the start of 2015. Turnover accelerated on already robust growth of 7.1% in October to the second quickest expansion recorded 2016.
Sales grew 7.8% on the year on a working-day adjusted basis, slightly slower than the 8.3% growth in October. Month to month, sales grew an adjusted 0.1%, but fell 4.7% in unadjusted terms.
As has been the case for months, retail turnover is being driven by an improving labour market and growing income. Consumption is a major plank in maintaining economic growth, as Lithuania pushes to find new export markets to replace weakened sales to Russia.
That dynamic is yet to put the Lithuanian economic growth on a sustained growth path, however. Economic expansion slowed to 1.7% y/y in the third quarter following a 1.9% gain in April-June, which was in turn a slowdown on 2.4% growth in the first quarter.
November’s annual growth in shop turnover was largely driven by the sale of motor fuels, which expanded over 25% on unadjusted basis, while sales of food, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products advanced 1.6%. Retail sales via mail order houses or the internet expanded 27.5%.