Ukraine’s 2018 retail sales increased 6.1% y/y in real terms, slowing slightly from 6.5% y/y in 2017, Ukraine’s State Statistics Service reported on January 21.
In December, real retail sales picked up 4.9% y/y and 19.1% m/m in real terms during the holiday season.
Regionally, the highest 2018 retail growth occurred in the Ukrainian-controlled Luhansk and Donetsk regions, (26.8% y/y and 14.2% y/y respectively) as well as Poltava (12.3%). It was slowest in the Khmelnytskiy and Kharkiv (1.1% y/y) regions, as well as Kirovohrad (1.3%).
“Retail trade growth in 2018 was in line with our forecast. Amid weak industrial advancement, the relatively high growth rate helped to keep overall economic growth at decent levels.” Evgeniya Akhtyrko of Concorde Capital said in a note. “We expect real retail to increase 6-7% y/y in 2019. It will be driven by real disposable income growth (mostly wages). At the same time, cooling inflation will help trade to grow in real terms.”