Consumer bonanza. Romania’s retail sales up 6.6 pct y/y in January boosted by higher spending on non-food products

Sorin Melenciuc 05/03/2019 | 09:26

The retail sales, a key index of consumer market, rose in January by 6.6 percent year-on-year in Romania boosted by higher spending on non-food products, according to a National Institute of Statistics (INS) report released on Tuesday.

Last year, the retail trade growth rate slowed down to 5.4 percent – the lowest pace in 5 years -, from 10.8 percent in 2017.

In January, the retail sales accelerated to 6.6 percent year-on-year, from 4 percent in December.

Retail trade was sustained in January by sales of non-food products, which rose by 9.4 percent year-on-year, and by sales of fuels (+5.8 percent).

Sales of food, beverages and tobacco increased by 4.3 percent year-on-year in January.

Compared with December, the retail trade rose in January by 1.9 percent in seasonally adjusted series.

The Romanian government has adopted during the last few years a strategy of wage-led growth, stimulating household consumption and GDP growth rates. But this model has generated larger fiscal and current account deficits.

Romania’s consumer market increased with more than EUR 10 billion in 2017, to around EUR 115 billion, due mainly to higher wages paid by employers.

The “final consumption expenditure of households” index, a measure of consumer market, rose from EUR 96.4 billion in 2015 to EUR 104.1 billion in 2016 and to EUR 115.2 billion in 2017, according to Eurostat statistical series.

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