Retail sales grow by 4.6 percent in August

Retail sales in Hungary rose by an annual 4.6 percent in August, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Wednesday.

The increase accelerated from 2.5 percent in the previous month. Retail sales have risen for five consecutive months after eight months of decline.

August retail sales rose by 4.1 percent when adjusted for calendar year effects. Adjusted food sales increased by 1.7 percent and non-food sales climbed 7.8 percent. Vehicle fuel sales rose by 2.3 percent.

In absolute terms, retail sales reached 1,228 billion forints (EUR 3.4bn), at current prices. Food sales accounted for 46 percent of the total, non-food sales for 37 percent and vehicle fuel sales 17 percent.

For the period January-July, retail sales rose by an annual 2.4 percent, according to both unadjusted and adjusted data. Adjusted food sales were up by 1.8 percent, non-food sales rose by 3.7 percent and vehicle fuel sales increased by 2.7 percent.

Erste Bank chief analyst Orsolya Nyeste said the fresh data were a “bit of a positive surprise”, but added that households were still spending on services rather than on goods as the economy reopens. She put full-year retail sales growth around 3 percent.

ING Bank senior analyst Peter Virovacz said the pickup in retail sales growth supported the lender’s estimate for quarter-on-quarter GDP growth of around 1.5 percent in Q3 and full-year growth of 7.7 percent.

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