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Retail sales climb 15.7 percent in April

Retail sales in Hungary rose by an annual 15.7 percent in April, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Friday. Adjusted for calendar year effects, retail sales climbed by 15.8 percent, showing double-digit growth for the second month in a row.

Adjusted food sales increased by 7.1 percent, non-food sales rose by 15.4 percent and vehicle fuel sales jumped by 37.3 percent.

In absolute terms, retail sales came to 1,373 billion forints (EUR 3.5bn). Food sales accounted for 46 percent of the total, non-food sales for 36 percent and sales at petrol stations for 18 percent.

A detailed breakdown of the data shows sales of clothing and footwear climbed by 66.8 percent, sales of computer and other electronics increased by 27.0 percent and sales in second-hand shops climbed 48.1 percent.

For the period January-April, retail sales rose by an adjusted and unadjusted 11.8 percent year-on-year. Adjusted food sales increased by 2.6 percent, non-food sales rose by 16.4 percent and vehicle fuel sales climbed 30.0 percent.

Takarekbank chief analyst Gergely Suppan said retail sales growth could gradually slow in the coming months as higher sales enter the base period, while some temporary factors end, but he added that the expansion could “remain dynamic”. He put full-year retail growth around 10 percent.

Erste Bank macroeconomic analyst Janos Nagy noted the impact of higher wages and fiscal transfers early in the year on retail sales growth, and said the pace of growth could slow against the backdrop of budget consolidation and high inflation.

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