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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hungary Retail Sales Fall Again In July

Hungarian retail sales were down by 0.1% month on month in July, following a 0.3% drop in June, according to calendar and seasonal adjusted data from the Hungarian Central Statistics Office (KSH). Using calendar effect adjusted data, the KSH found there was a fall of 1.8% yr/yr in July, versus a 1.9% decline in June and a 4.0% drop in July 2007. Retail sales in 2007 declined by 2.9% in annual terms, which compares with an increase of 4.4% in 2006 and 5.6% in 2005. For January-July this year, the KSH reported a 2.2% yr/yr decline, unchanged from the first half of 2007.

Combined retail sales including cars, car parts and fuel (which do not form part of the harmonised European statistical retail sales data) totalled HUF 213 billion in July, down 3.9% yr/yr following a decrease of 3.0% in June.

Retail sale of cars and car parts plunged 8.2% yr/yr in July, following a decline of 6.2% in June. For the first seven months of the year the KSH reported a decrease of 2.0%, against a fall of 0.8% in the first half of 2007.

Calendar-adjusted food sales fell 1.4% yr/yr in July, against a 1.5% decline in June. In monthly terms, food sales shrank by 0.1% in July, against a drop of 0.2% in June. In the first seven months they registered a yr/yr fall of 1.5%.

Non-food sales eased back by 2.0% yr/yr versus a 2.3% drop in June. There was a m/m fall of 0.1% in July, versus -0.3% one in June. From the beginning of the year, the KSH reported a 2.6% decline.

As can be seen from the monthly seasonally adjusted sales index, Hungarian retail sales peaked in early summer 2006, from which time they have been steadily falling. It is quite possible that they will never reach their historic peak again.

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