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Hungary: Wage figures thwart retail turnover

Slowing real wage dynamics have apparently left their mark on retail turnover, as shown by the latest data published by the Central Statistics Office (KSH).

Real wages dropped 6.2% year-on-year during the first seven months. After a slight growth in January, stagnation in February, KSH found a steady decline in retail turnover from March onward. In July, with Ft 530 billion (€2.12 billion, $2.98 billion) in commodities sold, retail turnover decreased 4.2% year-on-year and 0.4% month-on-month. Food market, which seemed to be virtually unaffected by wage decrease in H1, saw a 0.4% decrease in the January-to-July period.

The non-food sector produced a 6.6% year-on-year decline in July and a 3.2% year-on-year decline in the first seven months. Q3 is likely to be the worst period for retailers, said György Vámos, secretary-in-chief of the National Trading Association (OKSz). Interestingly, none of the chain stores Reál, Tesco, or Coop experience the decrease shown by KSH data. Tesco is outperforming its business plans, as is Coop. (Napi Gazdaság)