Retail trade turnover increased in Croatia in annual and decreased in monthly terms in March, the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (DZS) reported on April 30. The year-on-year data showed working-day adjusted retail trade turnover increased in real terms by 14.3% y/y, speeding up from a 3.8% y/y rise the previous month.
March 2020 was the first month in which retail trade was dramatically affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic after the first cases were confirmed in the country in February 2020 and a lockdown was imposed in March.
A breakdown by sectors showed a return to normal after the disruption to trade in March 2020 when there was panic buying of food and health products, while shoppers eschewed other types of consumer goods.
Compared to March 2020, growth in turnover was recorded in nine trade branches, responsible for 55.3% of the total turnover. The biggest increases in nominal turnover were recorded for clothing (by 105.5%) and for audio and video equipment, hardware, paints and glass, electrical household appliances, furniture and other household articles (by 58.5%).
The other trade branches, which generated 44.7% of the total turnover, recorded a decrease in turnover. The most substantial decline was for pharmaceutical and medicinal products, whose turnover fell by 7.6% y/y. There was a more modest fall in shopping at supermarkets and grocery stores, represented by the "non-specialised stores with food, beverages and tobacco predominating” category.
Meanwhile, retail trade showed a 2.4% month-on-month decline in March in real terms, which included a 3.6% decrease for non-food products (except automotive fuels and lubricants). Food products decreased by 6.2% m/m.