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Retail sales growth accelerates to 8.5% in April

Unadjusted retail sales in Hungary climbed 8.5% in April from the same month a year earlier, accelerating from a 4.9% year-on-year growth in March, data released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) on Wednesday show.

Calendar-adjusted data show retail sales were up 7.1% year-on-year in April. The Easter holidays account for most of the difference between the adjusted and unadjusted figures, noted the KSH.

Adjusted food sales were up 4.7%, non-food sales climbed 6.6%, and automotive fuel sales were up 5.5% year-on-year in April.

In the food segment, the volume of sales grew by 5.1% in non-specialized food and beverage shops (accounting for 76% of food retail), and by 3.7% in specialized food, beverage and tobacco stores.

In the non-food segment, sales rose in non-specialized shops dealing in manufactured goods (18%), pharmaceutical, medical goods and cosmetics (9.9%), as well as in furniture and electrical goods stores (7.4%). The volume of sales remained unchanged in shops selling books, computer equipment and other specialized items, while the volume of sales fell in second-hand goods shops (-0.9%), as well as in textile, clothing and footwear shops (-8.6%).

Online and mail order sales rose 28.7%, but still accounted for only around 5% of total retail sales.

Sales of motor vehicles and vehicle parts, which are not included in overall retail sales figures, were up 10.3% in April.

In absolute terms, retail sales came to HUF 1.001 trillion in April. Food, drink and tobacco stores accounted for 46% of all retail sales, while the relevant figures for non-food retail shops and the network of petrol stations were 37% and 17%, respectively.

In January-April 2019, compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, calendar year-adjusted retail sales rose 6.8% year-on-year, as did unadjusted sales. Adjusted food sales rose 3.6%, non-food sales climbed 9.5%, and motor fuel sales increased 10.1%.

Retail trade data for May 2019 will be published on July 4.