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May sees 7.2% rise in retail sales

Figures

In May 2018, the volume of sales in retail shops increased by 7.2% according to raw data, and by 7.8% adjusted for calendar effects compared to May 2017, according to a first estimate of monthly retail data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH).

The May increases compare to respective raw and adjusted increases of 4.4% and 6.1% in April.

The volume of sales in May, adjusted for calendar effects, rose by 5.8% in specialized and non-specialized food shops, by 9.7% in non-food retail shops, and by 8.1% in automotive fuel retail.

In January–May 2018, the volume of sales – also according to calendar-adjusted data – was 7.1% higher than in the corresponding period of the previous year. Adjusted food sales were up 4.8%, non-food sales climbed 9.6%, and fuel sales rose 7.9%.

A second, more detailed estimate of retail trade data for May 2018 and for the first five months of the year will be published on July 24.

Speaking to state news wire MTI, ING Bankʼs chief analyst Péter Virovácz said retail sales could increase by around 7% for the year as there are no signs indicating that consumption is faltering. Sales were significantly higher in May than in April, he noted, so the second quarter of the year also looks strong now.

Analyst András Horváth of TakarékBank put annual retail sales growth at 6.2%. Labor shortages are leading to higher than expected wage increases, which are driving consumption and retail sales, he observed. Home construction projects finishing this year could give another boost to sales, he added.

Dávid Németh, chief analyst at K&H Bank, said retail sales could grow by around 6-7% in 2018. He noted, however, that if the forint remains weak against other currencies this could raise the price of fuel and imported goods and decelerate retail sales growth.

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