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January sees 5.4% rise in retail sales

In January 2019, the volume of sales in retail shops, according to both raw and calendar-adjusted data, grew by 5.4% compared to January 2018. The volume of sales, adjusted for calendar effects, rose by 3.9% in specialized and non-specialized food shops, by 6.4% in non-food retail, and by 7.2% in automotive fuel retail.

In January 2019, the volume of sales grew by 5.4% in non-specialized food and beverage shops, accounting for 77% of food retail, while it fell by 0.7% in specialized food, beverage and tobacco stores.

In non-food retail, sales rose in shops selling pharmaceutical, medical and cosmetic goods (9.6%), manufactured goods (6.4%), textiles, clothing and footwear (3.9%), and books, computer equipment and other specialized goods (2.9%). In contrast, the volume of sales fell in second-hand goods shops (-6.1%), as well as in furniture and electrical goods stores (-0.7%).

The volume of mail order and internet retail, accounting for 5.8% of all retail sales and involving a wide range of goods, rose by 21% year-on-year, continuing a multi-year expansion.

In absolute terms, sales in the national retail trade network, as well as in mail order and internet retail, totaled HUF 832 billion at current prices in January. Food, drink and tobacco stores accounted for 47% of all retail sales, while the relevant figures for non-food retail shops and the network of petrol stations were 37% and 16%, respectively.

Sales of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and accessories, not belonging to retail data, increased by 9.7%, reaching HUF 50.4 bln.

KSH reveals changes in methodology

In changes to its methodology announced with the release, state news agency MTI reported, the KSH is now basing its retail data on information from tills that are connected directly to the tax office, rather than sampling, to provide a "more reliable picture of retail and catering sales."

In order to ensure data comparability over time, sales data were backcasted until January 2015, and volume indices until January 2016.

The KSH said it will now publish its first reading of retail data 35 days after the end of the month in question, and final, revised data 12 months after the reference month. It will discontinue its practice of releasing a second reading 50-55 days after the reference month.

Retail trade figures for February 2019 will be published on April 5.