(MTI) – 2013 has brought about a turnaround in the retail sector and modest growth, head of the National Retail Federation Gyorgy Vamos said on Sunday.
Vamos told MTI that the majority of retailers expect to close the year with better results than last year. A trend of recession started in the sector with the economic crisis in 2008 and this only came to a halt in 2011, which flat-lined.
Last December, which was the strongest month in the retail sector during the year, total spending was 832 billion forints (EUR 2.8bn). This year, retail spending is estimated at 860-870 billion forints in December, Vamos said.
Low inflation is generally favourable for retail trading, and food-price inflation slowed down compared with last year, Vamos said. However, Hungarians still consider the price level of food products too high, he added.
The scheme to cut household utility bills and the drop in fuel prices have led to savings for households, part of which they have turned towards spending on the high street, Vamos said.
The utility scheme, low inflation and the increase in real wages have also affected low-earners, partly thanks to higher pensions and the increase in minimum wages, which has had a major effect in consumption, he said.
Rapid increase is not expected next year in the retail sector, but if growth proves to be sustainable, then the years 2013 and 2014 are likely to bring a real change in trends, he added.