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Retail sales up by 1.1 percent in February

Retail sales in Hungary grew by an annual 4.6 percent in February, 1.1 percent when adjusted for calendar year effects, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Friday.

Adjusted food sales grew by 2.7 percent, non-food sales dropped by 2.1 percent and vehicle fuel sales grew by 3.9 percent.

Month on month, retail sales edged down by a seasonally and calendar-year adjusted 0.6 percent.

In the first two months of the year, retail sales fell by an adjusted 0.8 percent.

A detailed breakdown of the data shows adjusted retail sales rose at supermarkets, appliances shops, drugstores and pharmacies, and petrol stations, but fell at other shops.

Month on month, retail sales fell by an adjusted 0.6 percent.

In absolute terms, retail sales came to 1,395 billion forints (EUR 3.6bn) in February. Food sales accounted for 50 percent of the total, non-food sales for 34 percent and sales at petrol stations for 16 percent.

Commenting on the data, the national economy ministry said growth in two consecutive months meant that the retail sector has started to rebound, after 13 months of contraction. The government’s measure to bring inflation down to 3.7 percent by February, growing real wages since September and the resulting return of consumer trust contributed to the change, the ministry said.

Real wages are expected to grow by more than 5 percent this year, which would drive domestic demand. The government will also restart growth this year and further boost it next year to support consumption, the ministry said.

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