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Retail sales rise faster in July

Hungarian retail sales rose faster in July than in the previous month, led by beauty products, clothing, books and furniture, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) reported. Sales rose 0.6% in a month and 5.7 % in a year. Consumer spending in Hungary, which joined the European Union in May, slowed in the past year after the government curbed wage increases to rein in the budget deficit. New EU members must trim the shortfall to meet requirements for euro adoption, which Hungary plans in 2010. Sales of beauty products rose by 13.7% from a year earlier, clothing sales were 6.8% higher than in July 2004, furniture sales grew 6.2% and book sales increased 4.4% in the past 12 months. In the first half, retail sales rose 4.8% from the year-earlier period, including a 6.2% annual increase in the second quarter.