Romania's retail sales up 4.5% YoY in August
The turnover of the retail trade companies expressed in comparable prices, an indicator for private consumption, increased by 4.5% YoY in August, according to the statistics office INS.
Still bullish retail sales figures are supported by fundamental drivers (wages, base effects), but the households' behaviour plays a key role as well: individuals have very few investment options to maintain the value of their savings that have already shrunk significantly and keep shrinking as the deposit interest rates remain negative in real terms and other safe investment options (open investment funds, pension funds) delivery negative yields after the second slump in just a couple of years.
Food sales rose by 4.0% YoY in the month while posting a moderate 2.5% YoY advance for the entire January-August period.
Non-food sales, on the contrary, rose by 3.2% YoY - significantly slower compared to the 5.0% YoY advance in the YTD period. It is still a robust advance in real terms - particularly compared to the negative real dynamics of wages.
The sales of car fuels keep recovering on a low base: they rose by 7.7% YoY (+8.5% YoY in January-August) despite the high prices.
Wage increases, pandemic savings, the lifting of travel restrictions and the wave of Ukrainian refugees are visibly pushing retailer sales up. The 4.8% YoY growth of the retail sales index in January-August comes on top of the more than 12% YoY advance in the same period of 2021.
Cătălin Pozdarie, CEO of sports goods retailer Hervis, explains that inflation is still not felt in terms of sales. Sales of clothes and shoes increased by 11%: "I think that in Romania, the crisis that is being talked about in the world is not felt. At the moment, the world has barely returned after a well-deserved vacation, and I think it still doesn't fully feel the crisis".
(Photo source: Stokkete/Dreamstime.com)