Retail surpasses pre-crisis peak as Romanians shop instead of holiday

Retail surpasses pre-crisis peak as Romanians shop instead of holiday
By bne IntelliNews December 4, 2020

Romania's retail sales volume index increased by 4.0% in October compared to the same month last year, driven up by the non-food sales that fully offset the subdued fuel sales caused by lower mobility.

With fewer holiday options, Romanians seem to have refurnished their homes and renewed their home appliance stock.

The seasonally adjusted index rose for the first time (by 1.0%) above the pre-crisis sales peak reached in February.

The non-food retail sales increased by 13.1% y/y in October, the strongest annual growth rate since February.

Food sales rose by a healthy 4.8% y/y, the steepest advance since the shopping rush in March when people were preparing for lockdown.

In contrast, fuel sales lagged by 11.9% y/y in October, as the second wave of coronavirus infections was rising with a negative impact on mobility.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the retail sales advanced by 1.7% m/m in October, which was enough to bring the overall sales index above the pre-crisis level reached in February. Food sales reached this level in September and non-food sales a couple of months earlier, but only in October was their advance strong enough to compensate for the weak fuel sales that lag a significant 14.2% behind February.

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