Romania’s retail sales up 15.8% y/y in May

Romania’s retail sales up 15.8% y/y in May
By Iulian Ernst in Bucharest July 6, 2016

Romania’s retail sales increased by 15.8% y/y in May, decelerating from 19%-22% y/y growth rates in February-April but remaining in double digits, the statistics office reported on July 5.

Growth will further slow down in June, as the base effect caused by the 15pp VAT rate for food cut last June will vanish. However, the 4pp cut in the general VAT rate this January, as well as the robust rise in wages, at double-digit rates since last October, will keep fuelling retailers’ businesses through the second half of the year.

Food sales surged by 19.9% y/y in May, but their outstanding growth still lagged behind the 25%-32% y/y growth rates in the previous three months. Food sales marked a step-like rise last June, after the VAT rate cut, but were already on an upward trend at a rate of nearly 10% y/y at that time and kept rising since then.

The trend in retail sales over the past couple of years (seen in the chart below) was paralleled and driven by the rise in the real wages. The average net wage has increased in real terms at double-digit rates in recent months. In addition, employment has grown at rates of above 2% y/y since June 2014, which resulted in an even steeper rise of the aggregated net wages received by households.

Retail Sales Volume Index [y/y] 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Q3-15 Q4-15 Q1-16 Apr-16 May-16
Total goods -7.0% -1.2% 4.1% 0.5% 6.4% 8.9% 10.6% 14.2% 19.1% 19.4% 15.8%
A. Food stores -9.4% -6.9% 2.6% -0.1% 5.3% 19.1% 25.0% 26.4% 27.7% 29.3% 19.9%
B. Non-food stores -10.7% 4.4% 4.1% 3.6% 10.8% 2.8% 3.3% 8.6% 16.5% 17.9% 14.5%
C. Car fuel 3.3% -1.6% 6.2% -3.6% 0.3% 5.8% 4.8% 7.0% 10.0% 7.4% 12.1%
Auto sales&repair -7.9% 4.6% -4.8% 2.6% -0.4% 10.2% 9.7% 14.9% 15.4% 15.0% n.a.
Services 14.0% 7.5% 0.8% -3.7% -0.3% 9.8% 11.5% 18.8% 15.6% 9.7% n.a.
Source: INS  

 

Data

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