The retail sales volume index increased by 9.3% last December compared to the same month in 2018, the best performance since February 2019.
Overall, the retail trade index advanced by 7.2% in 2019 compared to 2018, according to data released by the National Statistics Institute (INS).
This is more than the 5.5% annual advance seen in 2018, but far from the double-digit rates recorded in 2016-2017.
As for the outlook, a recent poll by Eurostat pointed to the low consumer confidence (explained by stronger propensity for saving) in Romania, contrasting the rising disposable incomes.
However, private consumption is expected to remain the main growth driver for the local economy according to consensus expectations, while the GDP growth itself is seen as weakening.
In December 2019, compared to the corresponding month of the previous year, the growth in retail sales was driven by the sales of non-food products (+11.1% year-on-year), sales of food, beverages and tobacco (+9.4% year-on-year), and fuel sales (+5.1% year-on-year).
In 2019, compared to 2018, the sales of non-food products increased above average as well, by 8.8% year-on-year, while the sales of car fuels and food increased by 6.5% and 6.0% respectively.
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