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Hungary retail sales up 0.2% in 2011 as rise picks up in December

Retail sales in Hungary grew a calendar-adjusted 1.5% in volume terms in the twelve months to December 2011 from a year earlier and were up 0.1% from November according to data adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Friday.

2011 retail sales were 0.2% from a year earlier. Last time they grew was in 2006.

The December year-on-year rise came after a 1.1% increase in November, and was the biggest increase last year although it was from a low base. The monthly rise slowed from 0.2% in November.

Retail sales dropped 2.3% in 2010 after a 5.1% decline in 2009, adjusted for calendar effects.

Unadjusted retail sales were worth HUF 823.3 billion in December, up HUF 137 billion from November.

Car and car part sales, which, in line with EU methodology, are not part of the retail statistics, were up 2.8% yr/yr in December. They rose for the first time in many months, by 1.4% yr/yr, in November. 2011 car and car part sales were still down 4.5% from 2010.

Sales of vehicle fuel, which is included in retail statistics, dropped a calendar-adjusted 4.5% yr/yr in December, only slightly less than in November. They dropped yr/yr each month of 2011, bringing last year's average fall to 2.3%. Fuel sales dropped a seasonally and workday-adjusted 0.3% on the month, less than the declines in November and in October. They last rose a 0.7% rise in September.

Turnover in shops selling food, beverages and tobacco fell an adjusted 0.1% on the month in December and was up just 0.2% yr/yr according to calendar-adjusted figures. They grew 0.4% in 2011.

Non-food sales were up, in contrast, by 0.4% on the month and rose 4.3% yr/yr, bringing the full-year rise to 1.1%.

Within the non-food segment, sales were up on the month in the furniture and construction material segment (2.0%), in pharmaceuticals and medical goods (0.9%) and in the segment of mail orders (36.4%), were unchanged in the case of cosmetics products and fell in all other segments.