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Hungary retail sales snap two-month fall in May

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.