Lithuanian retail sales grew an unadjusted 7.5% y/y in August, according to data released by Statistics Lithuania on September 27.
The reading shows retail sales accelerating from an already solid expansion of 4% in July to record the fastest growth since February. Turnover has now remained on a solid expansion track since January 2015, with consumer consumption helping buoy economic growth in the face of reduced demand for exports.
Sales grew 6.4% on the year on a working-day adjusted basis in August, faster than the 6.2% growth the previous month. Month to month, sales gained an unadjusted 3.9%, while expanding 0.4% 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. This 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 24.8% on unadjusted basis, while sales of food, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products contracted 1.4%. On the other hand, sales of textiles, clothing, and footwear advanced 10.1%.