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KSH: Hungary’s retail sales up 4.4% in May

Food

Retail sales in Hungary saw a year-on-year rise of 4.4% in May, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said today, and some of the slowest growth reported was in the type of stores that would be impacted by the new Sunday closing law.

“The volume of sales grew by 0.8% in non-specialized food, drinks and tobacco stores accounting for 78% of food retailing,” according to KSH. These st0res include the hypermarkets and supermarkets that would have been forced to close on Sundays since the Sunday-closings law went into effect on March 15.

KSH data suggest that sales in the national retail trade network as well as in mail order and internet retailing were HUF 746 bln at current prices. Food, drinks and tobacco stores accounted for 46% of all retail sales, while the relevant figures for non-food retail shops and the network of petrol stations were 36% and 18% respectively, KSH added.

The volume of sales increased by 1.4% in specialized and non-specialized food retailing. The turnover of non-food retailing increased by 9.9%. The volume of mail order and internet retailing involving a wide range of goods rose by 42%, continuing a multi-year expansion. The volume of sales in automotive fuel stations rose by 5.6%. Sales in motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and accessories stores – not regarded as retailing by the European Statistical System – decreased by 8.9%.

Commenting on the Sunday closure law, KSH said that more time and data were needed to gauge the effects of the new measure.

However Népszabadság reported yesterday that approximately 2,600 people lost their jobs in the retail sector since the measure was introduced, and those who still work in the sector face working overtime in order to overcome the traffic lost on Sundays.

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