Lithuanian retail sales experience slight slowdown of growth in July

Lithuanian retail sales experience slight slowdown of growth in July
By bne IntelliNews August 28, 2018

Lithuanian retail sales growth eased to an unadjusted 7.3% y/y in July at constant prices, Statistics Lithuania reported on August 28.

The slight slowdown – at just 0.3pp up compared to the annual reading for June – ended a mini-series of sales accelerating growth in May and June. In broader terms, strong retail sales coupled with rebounding investment are poised to keep the Lithuanian economy on a path of steady growth in 2018.

Economic growth came in at 3.7% y/y in the second quarter, both in adjusted and unadjusted terms, a first estimate of GDP growth showed on July 30. A second estimate is due on August 31.

An improving labour market and growing incomes remain drivers of retail turnover in Lithuania. Shop turnover has now remained on an uninterrupted growth track since the start of 2015.

Sales grew 7.2% on the year on a working-day adjusted basis in July, the same rate as the adjusted y/y expansion recorded in the preceding month.

In monthly seasonally and calendar-adjusted terms, sales growth remained inched up 0.2% in July, improving upon no change in June. In unadjusted terms, sales grew 2.5% m/m, compared to a growth of 1.5% m/m previously.

Food, alcohol, and tobacco sales gained 5.5% y/y on an unadjusted basis in July; June saw a growth of 5.4% y/y in that category.

Sales of non-food items grew 7.6% y/y in July, up from an expansion of 5.3% y/y in June. Sales growth of automotive fuels expanded 14.1% y/y from a growth of 15.6% y/y the preceding month.

In nominal terms, sales came in at €995mn in current prices in July, up from €974mn in June, Statistics Lithuania noted.

Retail sales also expanded 6.2% y/y in unadjusted terms in January-July, compared to a growth of 5.7% in annual terms in the same period in 2017. In calendar-adjusted terms, sales grew 6.1% y/y in January-July, adding 0.4pp to the annual reading from January-July 2017.