Retail sales down 2% year-on-year in March


In March 2021, the volume of retail trade decreased by 1.5% in raw data and by 2% in calendar-adjusted data, compared with the same period of the previous year, due to the impact of new restrictions affecting retail trade from March 8 and the base effect of the epidemic that started last year, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) reports.

Compared to March 2020, the volume of sales decreased by 2% in specialized and non-specialized food retailing. The volume of sales decreased by 1.8% in non-specialized food and beverages shops accounting for 76% of food retailing and by 2.9% in specialized food, beverage, and tobacco stores.

Non-food retailing was the main sector affected by the closures, with turnover down by 5.9% overall. Sales rose in non-specialized shops dealing in manufactured goods (8.8%). The volume of sales fell in pharmaceutical, medical goods and cosmetics shops (19%), books, computer equipment, and other specialized stores (22%), furniture and electrical goods stores (46%), textiles, clothing, and footwear shops (48%) as well as in second-hand goods shops (59%).

Mail order and internet retailing, which covers a wide range of goods and accounts for 13% of retail sales, grew by 62% in volume to a record HUF 140 billion.

After one year, the turnover of petrol stations has started to grow again, with a 2.1% volume increase compared to last year.

Sales in motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and accessories stores not belonging to retail data increased by 2.9%.

Domestic retail sales amounted to HUF 1.095 trillion at current prices in March 2021

Specialized and non-specialized food shops accounted for 51% of all retail sales, while the relevant figures for non-food retail trade and retail trade of petrol stations were 34% and 15% respectively.

Retail sales down 3.2% y.o.y. in January-March

Compared to January-March 2020, the volume of sales in retail shops decreased by 3.2% in the first three months of 2021.

The volume of sales decreased by 1.4% in specialized and non-specialized food shops, by 4% in non-food retail trade, and by 5.8% in automotive fuel retailing.


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