Lithuanian retail sales growth accelerates in September

Lithuanian retail sales growth accelerates in September
By bne IntelliNews October 27, 2016

Lithuanian retail sales grew an unadjusted 7.7% y/y in September, according to data released by Statistics Lithuania on October 27.

The reading shows domestic trade turnover accelerating further from a robust expansion of 7.5% the previous month, to record the fastest growth since February. Turnover has now remained on a solid expansion track since the start of 2015, with consumer consumption helping buoy economic growth in the face of reduced demand for exports.

Sales grew 7.6% on the year on a working-day adjusted basis in September, faster than the 6.4% growth in August. Month to month, however, sales fell an unadjusted 6.8%, although they expanded 0.2% on adjusted 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 1.9% y/y in the second quarter following a 2.4% gain in January-March.

August's annual growth in shop turnover was largely driven by the sale of motor fuels, which expanded 22.7% on unadjusted basis, while sales of food, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products advanced 3.3%. Of other important categories, sales of textiles, clothing, and footwear inched up 0.4%.