Lithuanian retail sales growth pushes to six month high in August

Lithuanian retail sales growth pushes to six month high in August
By bne IntelliNews September 27, 2016

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%.