Retail trade in Bulgaria strengthened again in March 2014 – Eurostat

Retail trade in Bulgaria strengthened again in March 2014 – Eurostat

 

By Clive Leviev-Sawyer of the Sofia Globe

The volume of retail trade in Bulgaria in March 2014 was 5.8 per cent higher than in March 2013, according to figures released on May 6 by European Union statistics office Eurostat.

This was the latest in a series of improvements in retail trade volume figures, largely tracking similar improvements in the euro zone and across the EU, going by Eurostat figures.

On a month-on-month basis, recent months in Bulgaria have seen only one decrease on a monthly basis, in February 2014 when the volume of retail trade was -0.4 per cent down on January, the month traditionally boosted by Festive Season shopping.

However, on an annual basis, the two previous months in Bulgaria saw stronger improvements. February 2014 outperformed February 2013 by 9.3 per cent and January 2014 saw a volume of retail trade that 7.3 per cent higher than January 2013.

In the last three months of 2013, the climbs in retail trade in Bulgaria were slight: on a month-on-month basis, 0.5 per cent in October 2013, 0.4 per cent in November and 0.3 per cent in December. January 2014’s month-on-month figure was 2.1 per cent, and on an annual basis, 7.3 per cent.

Eurostat said that in March 2014 compared with February 2014, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 0.3 per cent in both the 18-member euro zone and the 28-member EU.

In February 2014, retail trade increased by 0.1 per cent in the euro zone and 0.3 per cent across the EU.

In March 2014 compared with March 2013, the retail sales index increased by 0.9 per cent in the euro area and by 1.6 per cent in the EU28.

The 0.3 per cent increase in the volume of retail trade in the euro area in March 2014, compared with February 2014, is due to a rise of 1.3 per cent for “Food, drinks and tobacco”, while the non-food sector fell by 0.3 per cent and automotive fuel by 0.1 per cent. In the EU28, the 0.3 per cent increase in retail trade is due to rises of 1.0 per cent for automotive fuel and of 0.7 per cent for “Food, drinks and tobacco”, while the non-food sector fell by 0.1 per cent.

The highest increases in total retail trade were registered in Estonia and Latvia (both +2.8 per cent), France (+2.3 per cent) and Romania (+2.2 per cent), and the largest decreases in Portugal (-1.7 per cent), Austria (-0.9 per cent), Germany, Ireland and Slovenia (all -0.7 per cent).

The 0.9 per cent increase in the volume of retail trade in the euro area in March 2014, compared with March 2013, is due to rises of 1.9 per cent for the non-food sector, of 0.8 per cent for automotive fuel and of 0.3 per cent for “Food, drinks and tobacco”. In the EU28, the 1.6 per cent increase in retail trade is due to rises of 3.3 per cent for the non-food sector and of 1.8 per cent for automotive fuel, while “Food, drinks and tobacco” fell by 0.1 per cent.

The highest increases in total retail trade were observed in Romania (+13.4 per cent), Luxembourg (+12.1 per cent) and Hungary (+8.4 per cent). Decreases were registered in Malta (-2.0 per cent), Finland (-1.3 per cent), Slovenia (-1.1 per cent) and Spain (-0.6 per cent).