In September the downward trend of retail sales continued

According to Statistics Estonia, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises decreased in September 2008 compared to this August as well as compared to September of the previous year.

A downward trend in the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises which started last year continued also in September of this year. High inflation, melting-down economy and the resulting decline in consumer confidence contributed to this trend. The confidence indicators reflected in the consumer survey and retail trade survey organised by the Estonian Institute of Economic Research show a continuous falling trend, too.

For the first time, retail sales were negative in March of this year compared to the same month of the previous year. This trend continued in September, too. In September, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises were 4.5 billion kroons, which at constant prices was 8% less than at the same time a year ago. The decrease in the retail sales of goods was most influenced by the stores selling manufactured goods. In these stores the retail sales of goods decreased 12% compared to the same period of the previous year. Compared to September of the previous year, the retail sales of goods decreased in most economic activities, except mail order sale and retail sales of pharmaceutical goods and cosmetics. The retail sales in non-specialized stores with industrial goods predominating and the retail sales of stores selling household goods and appliances, hardware and building materials decreased the most.

Retail sales in grocery stores have been rather stable during the recent months. In these stores, the retail sales decreased 3% compared to September of the previous year. As before, the decrease in sales was influenced by a growth in the prices of food products and the resulting decline in consumption.

In September compared to August, the retail sales of goods in retail trade enterprises decreased 7% at constant prices.

In September the revenues from sales of retail trade enterprises were 5.3 billion kroons, out of which retail sales of goods accounted for about 85%. Compared to September of the previous year, the revenues from sales decreased by 1% at current prices. Compared to the previous month, this indicator decreased 6%.

Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend,
January 2000 – September 2008 (corresponding month of previous year = 100)

Source: Statistics Estonia

In September the industrial production was smaller than a year ago

According to Statistics Estonia, in September 2008 compared to September of the previous year, the production of industrial enterprises decreased 4%.

In manufacturing, the production fell 3% compared to the previous year. The main reason hindering the increase in production was insufficient market demand. The decrease in the production of manufacturing was mainly influenced by the production of food, wood and building materials. The manufacturing of food was continually hindered by the decrease in consumption resulting from price increase. Although the price increase has decelerated during last months, the prices of food products still increased 12% compared to September of the previous year. The decrease in the production of food was mainly influenced by the decrease in the production of beverages, primarily caused by a higher excise tax which increased in July and by the price increase of raw materials in the world market. The downward trend continued in the wood manufacturing where the shortage of raw materials and difficulties in the sales both in domestic and external markets continue. The Estonian market is influenced by the decrease in construction, and the external market — by stiff competition. Compared to September of the previous year, 22% less sawn timber and 9% less glue-laminated timber were produced. The largest fall (32%) was in the production of building materials which is directly connected with the decline in the construction market.

Similarly to the previous months, in September the production increased primarily in the export-oriented branches of industry — in the manufacture of metal products, chemical products, and electrical machinery. The production grew also in the manufacture of machinery, radio and communication equipment, precision instruments and motor vehicles, where the share of exports was the biggest. Thus, the share of exports was 97% in the manufacture of radio and communication equipment and 91% in the manufacture of precision instruments.

In September compared to September of the previous year, the production of electricity decreased 5%, the production of heat increased 17%.

In September compared to August, the seasonally adjusted industrial production change was less than 1%.

The volume index and trend of production in manufacturing, January 1998 – September 2008
(2000 = 100)

Change in volume index of industrial production, September 2008
(percentage)

Economic activity Change compared
to previous month according to
seasonally adjusted dataa
Change compared to corresponding
month of previous year
according to
unadjusted data
according to working-day
adjusted datab
TOTAL 0.5 1.3 -3.8
Energy production 7.4 -1.7 -1.7
Mining -1.8 -10.5 -14.9
Manufacturing -0.2 2.3 -3.2
manufacture of food products and beverages 1.9 -6.2 -9.8
manufacture of wood and wood products -1.9 -14.6 -19.0
manufacture of fabricated metal products -14.0 19.5 11.5
manufacture of electrical machinery -2.0 28.6 19.5
manufacture of building materials -2.1 -29.1 -32.0
manufacture of chemicals and chemical products 21.4 52.6 44.5
manufacture of furniture; manufacturing not elsewhere classified -1.0 -1.0 -8.0
manufacture of radio, television and communication equipment and apparatus 14.2 11.4 6.4
manufacture of textiles -0.2 3.0 -3.3

 

a In case of the seasonally adjusted volume index, the impact of the differing numbers of working days in a month and seasonally recurring factors has been eliminated. It is calculated only in comparison with the previous period.

b In case of the working-day adjusted volume index, the impact of the differing number of working days in a month has been eliminated. It is calculated only in comparison with the corresponding period of the previous year.

Source: Statistics Estonia

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