Retail sales grew in January

According to Statistics Estonia, in January 2016 compared to January 2015, the turnover of retail trade enterprises increased 8% at constant prices. In December, the turnover increased 7% compared to the same month of the previous year and in January the growth continued at the same rate.

In January 2016, the turnover of retail trade enterprises was 476.4 million euros. The increase in turnover was mostly influenced by enterprises engaging in the retail sales of automotive fuel, where the turnover at constant prices increased by a third compared to January 2015. The fast turnover growth of those enterprises was influenced by the very low reference base of the previous year and by the prices of automotive fuel which were cheaper than last year. The turnover growth of enterprises engaging in the retail sales of automotive fuel gave a half of the total increase of the turnover of retail trade enterprises.

The turnover of stores selling manufactured goods increased 5% compared to January 2015. Turnover increased in most economic activities. Only the turnover in stores selling textiles, clothing and footwear was 4% smaller than in January of the previous year. Turnover increased the most in stores selling pharmaceutical goods and cosmetics (12% growth) and in stores selling household goods and appliances, hardware and building materials (10% growth).

The turnover in grocery stores increased 4% compared January 2015.

Compared to the previous month, in January, the turnover of retail trade enterprises decreased almost by a fifth at constant prices. This is a usual fall following the Christmas and end-of-year sales in December. According to the seasonally and working-day adjusted data, turnover increased 2% compared to the previous month.

Diagram: Turnover volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend

In 2016, Statistics Estonia started to use only the VAT declaration data of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board and stopped data collection with the questionnaire “Turnover”. This will reduce the response burden of entrepreneurs and Statistics Estonia’s expenditure on data collection, and increase the use of administrative data. Due to the change in the data source, the monthly news release “Retail trade” will focus on the turnover of retail trade enterprises, instead of the retail sales of such enterprises. Statistics Estonia will continue publishing the retail sales indicator of retail trade enterprises on a quarterly and yearly basis. Statistics Estonia published the monthly summary in four working days.

Source: Statistics Estonia

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