Romania’s retail sales mark new record, but “revenge shopping” is over

Romania’s retail sales mark new record, but “revenge shopping” is over
By bne IntelliNews February 4, 2022

Romania’s retail sales increased by 10.1% y/y in 2021 and by 12.6% compared to 2019, according to data released by the statistics office INS.

The overall retail sales index ended the year 2021 on a positive note with a new record for the seasonally-adjusted index — but the big picture shows signs of fatigue and decreasing propensity for consumption among households ahead of rising inflation (utility prices) and amid an uncertain economic outlook.

The so-called ‘revenge shopping’ that occurred after the lockdown for various reasons seems to have reached its end to have reversed in the second half of 2021. Seasonally-adjusted sales of non-food decreased by 1.6% during the last six months of the year.

Non-food sales increased in 2021 at a rate above average, by 13.7% y/y and by 20% compared to 2019. But the trend visible during H2 last year is consistent with expectations for more cautious consumer sentiment.

Food sales have kept growing at a slower but more predictable rate: by 5.5% y/y and by 10.7% versus 2019.

Fuel sales depend to a large extent on mobility restrictions and they surged by 11.6% y/y in 2021 while edging up a modest 2.7% versus 2019.