Retail sales in Hungary rose by an annual 5.3% in November 2018, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said in a first reading of data. Sales growth slowed from 6.4% in October, KSH said. Retail sales rose by 5.2% when adjusted for calendar year effects. Adjusted food sales were up 1.7%, non-food sales climbed 9.1% and fuel sales rose by 5.6%.
Gyula Pomázi, a deputy state secretary at the information and technology ministry, told public M1 news channel that the jump in non-food sales in November marked the start of the Christmas shopping season. He noted that retail sales have been growing for 65 consecutive months.
Takarékbank analyst Gergely Suppan said retail sales could continue to grow dynamically in the coming months. Retail sales growth in 2018 was likely to have been around 6.3% and for 2019 it may slow to 4.5%. ING Bank chief analyst Péter Virovácz said monthly data shows retail sales edging down since the end of 2017. The latest monthly data also show the effects of high base numbers and a moderation of household consumption. He noted the overall performance of the retail segment is still good. Zsombor Varga of Erste Bank said despite a setback in sales November data are still robust. Retail sales growth could slow to 4.6% in 2019, he added.