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Hungary retail sales snap two-month fall in May

Figures

Retail sales in volume terms rose both on the year and on the month in May in Hungary after declines in April and March. Sales increased a calendar year-adjusted 0.7% yr/yr and rose 0.5% from April, according to seasonally and workday-adjusted figures, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Tuesday.

January-May sales were down 0.2% from a year earlier.

In line with EU methodology, the figures do not include auto and auto parts sales.

The May rise stemmed from non-food sales, which rose 1.3% on the month and 1.7% in twelve months in May, the adjusted figures show. The steepest monthly rises in the group were registered in the sales volume of textiles, clothing and shoes, which increased 3% m/m and rose 5.7% yr/yr, of furniture and construction material, which rose 1.8% m/m, though dropped 1.2% yr/yr, and of pharmaceuticals, which rose 2.5% m/m and 0.7% yr/yr.

The sales volume of the food, beverages and tobacco shops were down 0.1% from April and rose just 0.1% yr/yr, less than the 0.4% rise in April. Sales at non-specialized stores actually dropped 0.2% on the year.

The overall twelve-month rise in retail sales came after a 1.2% decline in April and a 0.9% decline in March and slight 0.1% rises both in January and February. Retail sales rose yr/yr in July 2010 for the first time since March 2007, but declined again in the fourth quarter of 2010.

In a month-on-month comparison, retail sales rose after dropping 0.3% in April and slipping 0.5% in March, remaining unchanged in February and increasing 0.6% in January.

Retail sales fell 2.3% last year, declining for the fourth year in a row.

Auto and auto parts sales, which, in line with EU methodology, are not part of the retail statistics, fell 1.0% yr/yr in May after a 0.5% decline in April. Auto and auto parts sales in January-May were down 2.9% from a year earlier.

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