Slovak retail sales increased for the fourth straight month in February 2014 with the annual growth speeding up to 4% y/y from 3.1% y/y the month before, data from the country’s statistics office showed.
The February increase was affected mostly by an 18.5% rise in ICT sales, a 9.6% hike in retail sales in non-specialised stores and a 5.6% rise in sales of automotive fuels in specialised stores.
On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, February’s retail sales grew 0.6% after increasing by 1.0% in January. For the first two months of 2014, retail sales rose by 3.6% y/y.
IntelliNews comment: Slovak retail sales improved further in February reflecting rising wages and improving consumer confidence amid strengthening economic activity. But the still high unemployment rate, which stood at 13.49% in February, will continue to dampen household consumption. According to the European Commission’s latest economic forecast, domestic consumption is expected to grow this year thanks to lower inflation and improving labour market. Such favourable parameters will boost the real incomes and further improve the retail sales.
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