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, 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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