Lithuanian retail sales grew an adjusted 6.3% y/y in April, according to data released by Statistics Lithuania on May 27.
The reading shows a clearly faster expansion than in March, when retail turnover gained an adjusted 4.6% on the year. The result maintains a strong run for the Baltic state’s shops, which have seen sales expanding every month since January last year. On a monthly basis, sales expanded an adjusted 1.2% in April, while growing 5.3% y/y and 1.9% m/m, respectively, in unadjusted terms.
As has been the case for months, retail turnover is being driven by an improving labour market and growing income. In turn, consumption is a major plank in maintaining economic growth as Lithuania pushes to find new export markets to replace plummeting sales to Russia.
The ongoing growth of consumption – as well as finding new markets in the face of the Russian embargo on EU food - has so far helped Lithuanian economic expansion in 2016. GDP grew 2.4% y/y in Q1.
April's annual growth in shop turnover was largely driven by food sales, which increased 3.4%, while sale of motor fuels expanded 13.2%, Statistics Lithuania noted. No category showed a decline, except for food in specialised stores, which dropped 4.7%.