Budapest, April 5 (MTI) – Retail sales in Hungary rose by an annual 6.5 percent in February, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Tuesday.
Adjusted for calendar year effects, retail sales were up by 6.4 percent, accelerating from a 2.2 percent increase in January.
Food sales climbed by 4.9 percent, non-food sales rose by 7.5 percent and vehicle fuel sales were up by 9.1 percent.
Adjusted retail sales rose by an annual 4.3 percent in January-February.
After the publication of the data, Aron Mark Lenner, deputy state secretary for domestic economy, told public news channel M1 that retail sales could rise by 6-8 percent this year, at about the same rate as last year. The growth is supported by the low inflation environment, rising real wages, record employment, family tax preferences and a reduction of some VAT rates, he said.
K and H Bank chief analyst David Németh said retail sales could rise by over 5 percent this year, lifted by higher real wages.
Takarékbank analyst Gergely Suppán put the average annual increase at 4.1 percent and noted that last year’s 5.8 percent rise was in part due to a crackdown on under-the-counter sales.