The retail sales, a key index of consumer market, rose in April by 7.1 percent year-on-year in Romania, the slowest pace since December, despite higher spending on food products, according to a National Institute of Statistics (INS) report released on Wednesday.
The retail sales slowed down in April from 9.3 percent in February and 8.7 percent in March.
Retail trade was sustained in April by sales of food products, which rose by 9 percent year-on-year, and by sales of non-food products (+7.1 percent). Sales of fuels increased by 4 percent.
Compared with March, the retail trade decreased in April by 0.2 percent in seasonally adjusted series, the first decline in 4 months.
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, the retail trade growth rate slowed down to 5.4 percent – the slowest pace in 5 years -, from 10.8 percent in 2017.
Romania’s consumer market rose by 7 percent last year to EUR 123 billion on higher earnings but experts point out that there are already signs that households’ spending loses steam.