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Hungary retail sales volume falls 7.3pc in September

Retail sales volume in Hungary continued to fall at a sharp calendar year-adjusted real 7.3% rate in September year-on-year, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Monday.

It fell 7.2% yr/yr in August, and 6.6% in July, after a moderate 2.3% yr/yr drop in June. Twelve-month retail sales have fallen every month since February 2007.

In a month-on-month comparison, retail sales fell 0.5% according to seasonally- and calendar-year-adjusted figures, after a 0.8% decline in August and a deeper, 2.3% drop in July. The steeper path followed a 5%-point increase in the main VAT rate which took effect on July 1.

January-September sales volume fell 4.4% from the first nine months last year, after a 4.2 % drop to August.

The retail sales data include turnover of vehicle fuel from January 2009, in line with changes to revised EU statistical classifications.

Retail sales, at current prices, totaled HUF 620.4 billion in September - down from HUF 637.7 billion in August - and amounted to HUF 5,265 billion in the first nine months of the year, HUF 211 billion less than a year ago. Food and FMCG sales accounted for 45% of retail turnover in January-September.

Food and other FMCG sales were down 5.7% in twelve months, and fell 3.5% in January-September from the same period a year earlier. Sales volume at supermarkets, which account for 91% of total FMCG sales, declined 6.4% from September 2008.

Non-food retail sales volume fell an adjusted 11.2% in September and dropped 7.7% in January-August from the same respective periods a year earlier. In a month-on-month comparison, non-food retail sales dropped 0.5% in September.

Fuel sales volume - which accounts for 16% of retail sales - fell 1.4% in September but was up 0.5% in January-September from the same respective periods a year earlier. Fuel sales were down 0.6% in a month-on-month comparison.

Car and car part sales, which are not calculated as part of retail sales, continued falling, dropping 52.3% in September and declining 38.9% in January-August. (MTI-ECONEWS)