Retail sales in Hungary rose by an annual 5.4 percent in September, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said in a first reading of data released on Tuesday.
Sales growth accelerated from 4.2 percent in July and 4.7 percent in August.
The September increase was 6.0 percent when adjusted for calendar-year effects.
Adjusted food sales were up 2.7 percent, non-food sales jumped by 12.5 percent and fuel sales dropped by 0.5 percent.
For the period January-September, retail sales rose by an unadjusted 4.2 percent and an adjusted 4.3 percent annually. Adjusted food sales were up 2.4 percent, non-food sales grew by 7.5 percent and fuel sales rose by 2.8 percent.
Commenting on the data, Gyula Pomázi, deputy state secretary of the economy ministry, noted that retail sales have been increasing for 51 months in a row.
The trend was driven by the growth of net wages and the growing confidence index.
Sales of durable goods is on a dynamic rise, Pomázi said.
Analysts agreed that retail sales may see a further upswing in the coming months.
Péter Virovácz of ING Bank said the September data was in line with the steadily improving trends since April 2017. Retail sales growth may exceed 4.5 percent in 2017, which heralds a robust growth of GDP, in line with ING’s former forecast of 3.7 percent.
GDP, however, will be substantially influenced by the industry data still to be released, he added.
Gergely Suppán of Takarékbank said that growth in retail sales may gain further momentum in the coming months due to a 10 percent increase in real wages, the 11-year peak in consumer trust in early 2017 and the jump in household wealth. The annual growth of the sector is expected at around 4.5 percent, he said.