Romania’s retail sales mark robust 5.3% y/y growth in January

Romania’s retail sales mark robust 5.3% y/y growth in January
/ bne IntelliNews
By bne IntelliNews March 7, 2023

The retail sales index (volume terms) increased by 5.3% y/y in January, Romania’s statistics office INS announced.

This is more than the 4.4% y/y average advance in 2022 and the 4.2% y/y increase in Q4, while private consumption (with retail sales as a part of it) is broadly expected to ease to 2.7% y/y this year from a 5.5% advance in 2022.

The structure of the growth in January indicates robust consumer confidence: non-food retail sales rose by 9.1% y/y, well above average.

The sales of food increased by 5.4% y/y while the sales of car fuels shrank by 0.4% y/y.

The data conflict with reports from marketing consultancy firms that argued that the FMCG sales posted positive nominal growth rates only because the prices rose.

An analysis by Nielsen market research said that while sales of consumer goods increased last year in Romania by 15.8% in value, the advance was exclusively due to record price increases, given that in terms of volume (number of pieces) the market has stagnated.

Consumers say that they will give up buying non-essential products (64% of those polled) and/or they will do their shopping in discount stores (54%), according to the same report.