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Retail sales growth accelerates to 6.9% in July

Retail sales in Hungary climbed 6.9% in July from the same month a year earlier, accelerating from a 4.3% rise in June, data released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) on Wednesday show.

Sales were up 6.4% year-on-year in July when adjusted for calendar effects. The volume of sales, also adjusted for calendar effects, rose by 4.5% in specialized and non-specialized food shops, by 9.0% in non-food retail shops, and by 5.3% in automotive fuel retail.

Within food retail, the volume of sales grew by 5.0% in non-specialized food and beverage shops (accounting for 75% of food retail), and by 3.0% in specialized food, beverage and tobacco stores.

Within non-food retail, sales rose in non-specialized shops dealing in manufactured goods (11%), furniture and electrical goods (6.6%), pharmaceutical, medical goods and cosmetics (4.3%), second-hand goods (3.9%), as well as books, computer equipment and other specialized items (3.0%). The volume of sales remained unchanged in textile, clothing and footwear shops.

The volume of mail order and internet retail, accounting for 5.7% of all retail sales and involving a wide range of goods, rose by 39% year-on-year in July, continuing a multi-year expansion.

Sales of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and accessories, which are not included in overall retail data, increased by 22%.

In absolute terms, July sales in the national retail trade network, as well as in mail order and internet retail, totaled HUF 1.066 trillion at current prices. Food, drink and tobacco stores accounted for 45% of all retail sales, while the relevant figures for non-food retail shops and the network of petrol stations were 37% and 18%, respectively.

In January–July 2019, the volume of sales – according to both raw and calendar-adjusted data – was 5.8% higher than in the corresponding seven-month period of the previous year. The volume of sales rose by 3.1% in food, drink and tobacco shops, by 8.6% in non-food retail, and by 7.5% in automotive fuel retail.

Retail trade figures for August 2019 will be published on October 3.