According to the GfK Consumer Confidence barometer, confidence of Romanians shot up in the first quarter of 2017, reaching the highest level since the debut of the crisis.
The economic measures that debuted last year were carried through the first quarter of 2017, the study shows. Specifically, pensions increased by 5 percent and the income tax was eliminated for pensions under RON 2,000. The minimum income increased by RON 200, and the VAT decreased from 20 percent to 19 percent. These conditions influenced Romanian households and their consumption.
In the first quarter, the consumer goods market rose by 1.7 percent year-on-year. The pace of growth seems to slow down starting with the last quarter of 2016. Inflation was constant (+ 1.5 percent for food), while the population continued to opt for more expensive products. However, volumes declined for the first time in 2015 by 2.5 percent.
Among the large categories of consumer goods, fresh food remains constant in value. Similarly, personal care products. Those recording increases are packaged food (+ 3 percent), followed by beverages by 2 percent. Campers are home care products, which grew by 7 percent in value, a sign that Romanians pay more attention to home comfort.
At the same time, the price of basic foods such as flour, sugar, rice, cooking oil or margarine continue to decline.
In the first quarter of 2017, modern trade reached a market share of 62%, gaining about 2 percentage points at the expense of traditional trade. Discounters, supermarkets and modern convenience stores have the highest increase in market share in value, with the first two gaining through larger baskets, while modern proximity stores recruit more buyers. Hypermarkets are affected by the drop in traffic and lost almost one point in value.
Sales of discounted items fell by 0.7 percentage points in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year.
The study is based on household consumption monitoring for all categories of consumer products through GfK Romania Consumers Panel survey, on a sample of 3,000 households, representative at national level.