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Retail sales up 4.8% in 2017

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In December 2017, the volume of sales in retail shops increased by 4.7% according to raw data, and by 5.9% adjusted for calendar effects, compared to the same month of the previous year, says a first estimate of retail figures released Monday by the Central Statistical Office (KSH).

The volume of sales in December, adjusted for calendar effects, rose by 2.1% in specialized and non-specialized food shops, by 10.4% in non-food retail shops, and by 4.1% in automotive fuel retail.

Overall monthly sales growth slowed from 6.7% in November.

In 2017 as a whole, the volume of sales – also according to calendar-adjusted data – was 4.8% higher than in 2016.  Adjusted food sales were up 2.6%, non-food sales climbed 8.3%, and fuel sales rose 3.3% year-on-year in 2017.

Analysts interviewed by state news agency MTI said they expect retail sales growth to continue at a similar pace in the coming months.

Gergely Suppan of TakarékBank forecast 5% retail sales growth for the full year 2018, while Gergely Ürmössy of Erste Bank predicted growth of around 4.5%.

The KSH will publish a second reading of retail sales figures for December and the full year of 2017 on February 22.

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