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February retail sales rose 0.8 pc in Hungary

February retail sales rose 0.8 pc in Hungary

Budapest, April 24 (MTI) – Retail sales in Hungary climbed 0.8 percent year-on-year in February, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said in the second reading of data released on Monday.

Retail sales rose by 0.9 percent when adjusted for the calendar year effects.

The unadjusted and adjusted figures were revised downwards from those published in the April 4 first reading of the data, from 1.0 percent and 1.2 percent respectively.

The pace of retail sales growth slowed from an unadjusted 4.8 percent and adjusted 3.8 percent in January.

Adjusted food sales were unchanged in February, non-food sales climbed 3.2 percent and fuel sales increased by 0.7 percent.

Deputy state secretary of industrial strategy and economic regulation Gyula Pomázi said that the 15 percent minimum wage increase for unskilled workers and the 25 percent minimum wage rise for skilled workers this year had had a positive impact on retail trade.

Analysts forecast the drop in retail growth to be temporary. Gergely Urmossy of Erste Bank told MTI that the slowdown had come as a surprise because the fast pace of wage rises and gradually improving consumer confidence suggested that turnover would expand dynamically this year too. Still, the data is not yet a cause for concern and could turn out to be a temporary blip, he said.

Dávid Németh of K and H Bank said the February reading had been a disappointment. Based on the rate of wage flows, it had seemed that a bigger increase in retail trade turnover could have been expected. But last year, he said a significant whitening of the sector had taken place, with a corresponding impact on the rate of turnover.

Source: MTI

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