Hungarian retail sales rise 7.5% y-o-y in January
In January 2018, the volume of sales in retail shops, according to both raw and calendar-adjusted data, grew by 7.5% compared to the same month last year, shows a first flash estimate of monthly figures for the Hungarian retail trade from the Central Statistical Office (KSH).
The January increase is substantially up on the December raw and adjusted figures of 5.0% and 6.7%, respectively, as well as overall retail growth of 5.0% (raw) and 5.3% (adjusted) in 2017 as a whole.
The volume of sales in January, adjusted for calendar effects, rose by 4.4% in specialized and non-specialized food shops, by 11.6% in non-food retail shops, and by 8.1% in automotive fuel retail.
Cited by state news wire MTI, K&H Bank chief analyst Dávid Németh said January sales growth was higher than expected. In 2018 as a whole, he added, retail sales could rise by around 5% because of higher wages and strong demand for durable consumer goods.
TakarékBank analyst Gergely Suppan said retail sales growth could remain over 6% in the coming months, though a high base could slow the increase in the second half of the year. A wave of new home completions expected this year could provide additional support, he added.
Péter Virovácz, analyst at ING Bank, said favorable labor market trends, such as the higher minimum wage and low unemployment, are boosting householdsʼ propensity to make purchases.
A second, more detailed estimate of retail trade figures for January 2018 will be published on March 22.
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