Hungarian retail sales increased by an annual 3.7% in December, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said. Adjusted for calendar year effects, retail sales were up 4.1%. Adjusted food sales were flat, but non-food sales grew by 8% and vehicle fuel sales increased by 4.9%. In the full year, retail sales rose by 6%. Food sales increased by 3.4%, non-food sales by 9.1% and vehicle fuel sales by 6.4%.
ING Bank chief analyst Péter Virovácz noted that the headline increase in December retail sales was the lowest rate of the entire year, in spite of the holiday season, suggesting recent strong growth may not be sustainable.
Takarékbank analyst Gergely Suppan also noted the slowdown around the holidays and said stagnating food sales in retail shops suggested that Hungarians must have eaten out more.