Romania’s retail sales up 9.3% y/y in Q1 2014

By bne IntelliNews May 6, 2014

Romania’s retail sales volume index increased by 9.3% y/y in the first quarter of 2014 after an outstanding 13.6% y/y expansion in March, the statistics office reported. The workday- and seasonally-adjusted sales index surged by 5.2% q/q in Jan-Mar, thus marking the third consecutive quarterly positive performance.

The sales of non-food items performed above the average in both the first quarter and in March alone, while the sales of food items lagged behind the average. Thus, the non-food sales expanded by 13.1% y/y in full Q1 and by 16% y/y in March alone. Their performance was already remarkable in 2013.

As a result, the non-food retail sales index, seasonally- and workday-adjusted was in Q1 only 0.5% below the peak pre-crisis level reached in Q2 2008, while the overall retail sales still lag a significant 9.2% below the peak level. Particularly the food sales were 13.6% below the Q2 2008 level, while the sales of car fuels were 15.2% lower.

The retail sales performed impressively in March, partly helped by the car fuel excise hike as of April 1 that pushed up fuel sales by 17.4% in March.

Retail sales volume index 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Q1-14 Mar-14
Total -9.7% -6.6% -2.0% 2.9% 0.5% 9.3% 13.6%
Total, swda* q/q, m/m n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 5.2% 2.3%
A. Food stores -3.8% -9.6% -6.8% 2.4% -0.1% 6.1% 8.1%
B. Non-food stores -8.1% -9.0% 1.7% 1.6% 3.6% 13.1% 16.0%
C. Car fuel -19.7% 3.3% -1.6% 6.2% -3.6% 7.1% 17.4%
Source: INS, *seasonally and workday adjusted

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