Data published on Friday by Eurostat showed that the volume of retail sales via either mail order houses or the internet had a 12 percent increase across the European Union in 2017.
Retail sales by mail order or the internet have been increasing throughout much of the last decade and since 2014 annual growth rates have exceeded 9 percent. For total retail sales, the pace of growth has been slower, with annual growth rates between 2 and 3 percent since 2014.
Among the EU Member States for which data are available, Estonia shows the largest annual growth in retail sales via either mail order houses or the Internet between 2016 and 2017 (+36 percent), followed by Hungary (+32 percent), Romania and Lithuania (both +26 percent). In contrast, there were year-on-year falls in Portugal (-9 percent) and Finland (-1 percent).
In Romania, online retail sales increased by 26 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, but the advance was lower than the 31.5 percent recorded in 2016 against the previous year and the 44.9 percent recorded in 2014 against 2013.