Budapest, January 7 (MTI) – Retail sales in Hungary rose by an annual 4.8 percent in November, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Thursday.
The increase accelerated from a 4.1 percent rise in October.
Adjusted for calendar year effects, retail sales were up by 4.4 percent in November. Food sales rose by 2.5 percent, non-food sales climbed by 6.9 percent and fuel sales were up by 4.7 percent.
In January-November, retail sales rose by an unadjusted 5.6 percent and an adjusted 5.7 percent from the same period a year earlier.
KSH will publish a second reading of the data on January 25.
Economy ministry deputy state secretary Zoltan Marczinko said retail sales have been on an upward trend for the past 30 months, returning to the levels of the early 2000s. He said all market players agree that the installation of online cash registers in 2014 has had a whitening effect on the economy. He said the government’s reforms and stalling inflation have also increased consumption. Sunday shop closures have not had an impact on retail sales, Marczinko added.
The deputy state secretary said the government’s phasing out of foreign currency loans and job creation measures will continue to have a positive effect on retail sales growth in 2016, contributing to a similar budget deficit and economic growth rate to the figures registered in 2015.
Takarekbank analyst Gergely Suppan said the rise in retail sales could remain around the 4.5 percent mark in December, too. Higher real wages, rising employment and the conversion of foreign currency retail loans into forints have boosted households’ disposable income, he added.
Gyorgy Vamos, the chief secretary of the National Commerce Association (OKSZ), said the November data confirm the association’s earlier projection for a 5-6 percent increase in retail sales in 2015.