January’s retail trade increased 6.3% year-on-year in real terms, accelerating from 4.9% y/y in December, Ukraine’s state statistics agency Ukrstat reported on February 20.
At the same time, retail sales plunged 23% month-on-month in real terms.
Regionally, highest retail growth occurred in January in Kyiv (11.3% y/y), Ivano-Frankivsk (10.8% y/y) and the Ukrainian-controlled Donetsk regions (9.8% y/y). It was slowest in the Chernihiv (1.3% y/y), Kirovohrad (1.6% y/y) and Volyn (2.0% y/y) regions.
Evgeniya Akhtyrko at Kyiv-based brokerage Concorde Capital believes that the accelerated growth of retail trade indicates that consumer demand remains high and will help to maintain a moderate economic growth pace amid declining industrial production.
"We expect real retail trade to increase 6%-7% y/y in 2019, driven by real disposable income growth (mostly wages)," she wrote in a note on February 22.