Consumer confidence. Romania’s retail sales up 8.4 pct y/y in March boosted by higher spending on fuels, non-food products

Sorin Melenciuc 06/05/2019 | 12:11

The retail sales, a key index of consumer market, rose in March by 8.4 percent year-on-year in Romania boosted by higher spending on fuels and non-food products, according to a National Institute of Statistics (INS) report released on Monday.

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

In March, the retail sales slightly slowed down from 9.3 percent in February.

Retail trade was sustained in March by sales of fuels, which rose by 18.5 percent year-on-year, and by sales of non-food products (+11.7 percent).

Sales of food, beverages and tobacco have stagnated in March for the first time in years.

Compared with February, the retail trade rose in March by 0.6 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.

Last year, Romania’s consumer market rose by 7 percent to EUR 123 billion on higher earnings but experts point out that there are already signs that households’ spending loses steam.

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