Retail sales in Hungary climbed 5.3 percent in August from the same month a year earlier, slowing from a 6.9 percent increase in July, data released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) on Thursday show.
Calendar-adjusted data show retail sales were up 5.8 percent year-on-year in August. Adjusted food sales were up 3.4 percent, non-food sales climbed 9.8 percent and vehicle fuel sales were up 4.3 percent year-on-year.
Online and mail order sales jumped 46 percent, but still accounted for around 5.6 percent of total retail sales. Sales at petrol stations were up 4.3 percent. Sales of motor vehicles and vehicle parts, which are not included in retail sales, climbed 14 percent. In absolute terms, retail sales came to 1,076 billion forints (EUR 3.2bn) in August.
In January-August retail sales rose by 5.8 percent according to both unadjusted and calendar year-adjusted data.
Gov’t: retail sales growth for 6 years
Commenting on the data, the state secretary for trade policy and consumer protection at the innovation and technology ministry, said retails sales have been rising significantly for over six years now. Speaking to public news channel M1, the state secretary attributed much of the increase in retail sales to rising household disposable incomes. This is in part thanks to rising wages, which has also helped boost household savings, he added.
Analysts: growth trend to continue
ING Bank chief analyst Péter Virovácz noted that the calendar year-adjusted sales rose at the same rate in August as in January-August, showing a continuing trend. Favourable labour market conditions are supporting households’ propensity to spend, in spite of the increasing uncertainty on external markets, he added.
Takarekbank senior analyst Gergely Suppan augured a 5.8 percent increase in retail sales for the full year. Growth could be supported both this year and next by a wave of home inaugurations and the impact of expanded government measures supporting families with children, he added.
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