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Retail sales up 3.8 percent in November

Retail sales in Hungary rose by an annual 3.8 percent in November, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Friday. The increase slowed from 5.7 percent in the previous month.

Adjusted for calendar year effects, retail sales also rose by 3.8 percent. Adjusted food sales increased by 2.1 percent and non-food sales were up by 4.9 percent. Vehicle fuel sales climbed by 6.2 percent.

Sales of clothing and footwear shops climbed 29.0 percent, sales of second-hand shops increased by 27.9 percent, sales of pharmacies rose by 11.3pc and sales of book and computer shops were up by 6.6 percent. Online and mail-order sales edged up 0.9 percent from a high base. Sales of furniture and appliance stores fell by 7.4 percent.

In absolute terms, retail sales reached 1,276 billion forints (EUR 5.3bn), at current prices. Food sales accounted for 43 percent of the total, non-food sales for 41 percent and vehicle fuel sales 16 percent.

For the period January-November, retail sales rose by an annual 3.2 percent, according to both unadjusted and adjusted data. Adjusted food sales were up 2.1 percent, non-food sales rose by 4.5 percent and vehicle fuel sales increased by 4.4 percent.

ING Bank chief analyst Peter Virovacz said November retail sales growth remained well below expectations, which he attributed to lower vehicle fuel sales, possibly related to the fourth wave of the pandemic, and the higher inflation rate. Takarekbank chief analyst Gergely Suppan said retail sales probably grew by around 3.4 percent last year and forecast full-year retail sales growth of 11 percent next year on base effects, a close to 19 percent minimum wage increase, public sector pay rises, tax refunds for parents raising children and a pensioners’ bonus.

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