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Retail sales growth accelerates to 8.4% in February

In February 2019, the volume of sales in retail shops, according to both raw and calendar-adjusted data, grew by 8.4% compared to the same month of 2018, show fresh monthly data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH). Sales were up 6.9% in the first two months.

Growth picked up from 5.4% in January to reach the highest level in a little more than a year, noted state news agency MTI.

In absolute terms, sales in the national retail trade network, as well as in mail order and internet retail, totaled HUF 821 billion at current prices in February. Food sales made up HUF 386.6 bln of the amount, non-food sales HUF 295.6 bln, and vehicle fuel sales HUF 138.5 bln.

The volume of sales in February, adjusted for calendar effects, rose by 4.8% in specialized and non-specialized food shops, by 10.8% in non-food retail, and by 13.8% in automotive fuel retail.

Within food retail, the volume of sales grew by 5.2% in non-specialized food and beverage shops (accounting for 77% of food retail), and by 3.4% in specialized food, beverage and tobacco stores.

Within non-food retail, sales rose in non-specialized shops dealing in manufactured goods (17%), textiles, clothing and footwear (14%), furniture and electrical goods (11%), second-hand goods (9.7%), books, computer equipment and other specialized items (6.1%), and pharmaceutical, medical and cosmetics goods (4.5%).

The volume of mail order and internet retail, accounting for 5.0% of all retail sales and involving a wide range of goods, rose by 20%, continuing a multi-year expansion.

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 36% and 17%, respectively, in February.

Sales of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and accessories, which are not included in overall retail data, increased by 13% to HUF 54.6 bln during the month.

In January–February 2019, compared to the first two months of the previous year, and adjusted for calendar effects, the volume of sales in retail shops rose by 6.9%. Sales rose by 4.4% in food, drink and tobacco shops, by 8.5% in non-food retail, and by 10.4% in automotive fuel retail in the period.

Retail trade figures for March, and for the first quarter of 2018, will be published on May 6.