In February the retail sales of goods was 267 euros per inhabitant

According to Statistics Estonia, in February 2015 compared to February of the previous year, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises increased 8% at constant prices. In January the retail sales increased 5% compared to the same month of the previous year, while in February the growth in retail sales accelerated.

In February 2015, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises were 350.9 million euros, which was 267 euros per inhabitant.

The growth of retail sales in stores selling manufactured goods accelerated significantly compared to the previous months. In the previous three months (November–January), the retail sales of those stores showed a stable 7–8% growth year over year, whereas in February the growth was 13%. The acceleration of retail sales growth in stores selling manufactured goods was partly influenced by the very low reference base of February of the previous year.

In February, the retail sales via mail order or the Internet increased the most, with sales increasing 41% compared to February 2014. A higher than average increase occurred also in other specialised stores, such as stores selling computers and their accessories, photography supplies, books, sports equipment, games and toys etc. (20% growth) and in stores selling second-hand goods and in non-store retail sale (stalls, markets, direct sale) (19% growth).

The retail sales in grocery stores have been rather stable in recent months. In February, the retail sales of these stores increased 4% compared to February of the previous year.

The retail sales of automotive fuel increased 6% at constant prices compared to February 2014.

Compared to January, in February, the retail sales in retail trade enterprises decreased 7% at constant prices. According to the seasonally and working-day adjusted data, the retail sales stayed at the same level compared to the previous month.

In February, the turnover of retail trade enterprises was 416.8 million euros, out of which the retail sales of goods accounted for 84%. Compared to February 2014, the turnover increased 6% at constant prices. Compared to the previous month, this indicator decreased 6%.Diagram: Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend

The statistics are based on the questionnaire “Turnover”, the deadline of which was 15 March 2015, and on VAT declaration data from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board. Statistics Estonia published the monthly summary in 11 working days.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Modest growth of sales expected in 2015

• Profitability stable despite stagnant turnover
• Investment volumes a bit larger outside the energy sector
• Modest growth of sales expected in 2015

Profitability stable despite stagnant turnover
In 2014, enterprises’ turnover and costs in Estonia stayed at the previous year’s level. While the level of total costs did not change, labour costs increased; therefore, the share of personnel expenses to total costs rose from 12% in 2013 to 13% in 2014. Despite no change in turnover, total profits grew by 3%. Profitability, measured as the ratio of total profits to turnover, has been at the same level for three years.

Investment volumes a bit larger outside the energy sector
Business sector investments increased by 2%, excluding the energy sector. Compared with 2013, investments in land, acquisition of buildings, and computers increased. Other investments decreased, with the biggest decline registered in investments in equipment and machinery, due to smaller investment volumes in the energy sector.

Modest growth of sales expected in 2015
The growth of sales and profits will probably remain limited this year. Sentiment indicators have worsened in recent months. Operating capacity in the manufacturing sector hit the seasonal average of recent years in January, but the volume of orders has been declining during the last few months. Exports to Russia have been hit, but the volume of total exports of goods was still growing, at least in January. According to the recent Swedbank survey of Estonia’s manufacturing sector, 64% of polled industrial enterprises planned to increase their turnover (by 3.0%, on average), and 44% of companies expected an increase in their profitability in 2015.

Source: Swedbank

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Stable growth in retail sales

According to Statistics Estonia, in January 2015 compared to January of the previous year, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises increased 5% at constant prices.

In January 2015, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises were 373.9 million euros, which was 285 euros per inhabitant.

The retail sales in stores selling manufactured goods increased 8% compared to January 2014. Sales increased in most economic activities. Only the retail sales in stores selling textiles, clothing and footwear stayed at the same level as in January of the previous year. The retail sales via mail order or the Internet increased the most, with sales increasing nearly a fourth (24%). In January, a higher than average increase occurred also in stores selling second-hand goods and in non-store retail sale (stalls, markets, direct sale) (18% growth) and in other specialised stores, such as stores selling computers and their accessories, photography supplies, books, sports equipment, games and toys etc. (16% growth).

The retail sales in grocery stores increased 4% compared to January 2014. Compared with December, the retail sales growth in these stores accelerated slightly, partly influenced by the acceleration in the price decrease of food products. While in December 2014, the annual price decrease of food products was 0.4%, then this January it was 1.8%.

The retail sales of automotive fuel stayed at the same level as in January 2014.

Compared to the previous month, the retail sales in retail trade enterprises decreased almost by a fifth (19%) at constant prices in January. This is a usual fall following the Christmas and end-of-year sales in December. According to the seasonally and working-day adjusted data, the retail sales increased 2% compared to the previous month.

In January, the turnover of retail trade enterprises was 439.5 million euros, out of which the retail sales of goods accounted for 85%. Compared to January 2014, the turnover increased by 2% at constant prices. Compared to the previous month, this indicator decreased 19%.

Diagram: Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend

The statistics are based on the report „Turnover“, the deadline of which was 15.02.2015, and on the VAT declaration data from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board. Statistics Estonia published the monthly summary in ten working days.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Compared to last February goods were cheaper and services more expensive

According to Statistics Estonia, the change of the consumer price index in February 2015 was 0.6% compared to January 2015 and -0.8% compared to February of the previous year.

Compared to February 2014, goods were 1.8% cheaper and services 0.8% more expensive.

Regulated prices of goods and services have fallen by 1.6% and non-regulated prices by 0.6% compared to February of the previous year.

Compared to February 2014, the consumer price index was influenced the most by 16.3% cheaper motor fuel. The 2.5% price decrease of food also had a bigger impact on the index, with meat and meat products being 2.7% cheaper and milk, milk products and eggs being 3.2% cheaper than in the same month of the previous year. Among the commodities whose prices increased, alcoholic beverages and tobacco had a bigger impact on the index, as their prices increased by 5% and 5.1%, respectively. Compared to February of the previous year, of food products, the prices of dried fruit and nuts (25%) and coffee (21%) have increased the most, and the prices of sugar (44%) and potatoes (22%) have decreased the most.

In February compared to January, the consumer price index was also mainly influenced by motor fuel as its prices increased by 6.6%. The increase in the prices of fresh vegetables (16.5%) and alcoholic beverages (3.1%) had a bigger impact on the index as well. Compared to January, of food products, the prices of cabbage and mandarins increased the most (46% and 41%, respectively) and the prices of lemons decreased the most (11%).

Change of the consumer price index by commodity groups, February 2015
Commodity group January 2015 –
February 2015, %
February 2014 –
February 2015, %
TOTAL -0.8 0.6
Food and non-alcoholic beverages -1.7 0.5
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco 5.0 2.2
Clothing and footwear 1.8 2.9
Housing 0.1 -0.3
Household goods 1.0 0.0
Health 3.6 0.5
Transport -7.7 1.7
Communications -0.1 -0.1
Recreation and culture 1.0 -0.3
Education -20.6 0.0
Hotels, cafés and restaurants 2.7 -0.3
Miscellaneous goods and services 2.3 -0.1

Source: Statistics Estonia

Consumer prices down by 1.3 pct in January

• Deflation bigger than expected
• Cheaper motor fuels and food behind the drop in prices
• Inflation expectations are declining, but 53% of consumers still expect prices to go up in the future

In January, consumer prices decreased by 1.3% compared with the previous year and 0.4% compared with December. In January, prices were pushed down the most by cheaper motor fuels, which dropped by 20.7%, year-on-year, and 8.3%, month-on-month. In addition to transportation, the prices of food (mostly vegetables), housing and education declined.

Most of the consumers do not feel the decline in prices. Price expectations have decreased, but 53% of consumers still expect prices to grow and only 5% of respondents expect prices to decline during the next 12 months.

Prices, especially energy and food prices, will start to increase gradually during the second half of 2015. The price of crude oil is forecast to decline by around half in US dollars and by around one-third in euros in 2015, compared with 2014. However, the prices of motor fuels in Estonia are expected to decline much less, as taxes amount to half of the retail price of gasoline.

As Estonia’s economy is relatively energy intensive, most of the sectors’ competitiveness should improve. At the same time, a few sectors will lose out, i.e., the shale oil industry (around 2% of Estonia’s GDP).

Food prices are currently weak globally due to abundant supply and slower growth of demand in some leading importers, like China and Russia. Food prices are expected to increase in the second half of this year, when food demand will strengthen. The prices of imports will rise somewhat during the course of the year due to cheaper euro against the USD (-15%, year-on-year, in January).

Source: Swedbank

January inflation was influenced by motor fuel

According to Statistics Estonia, the change of the consumer price index in January 2015 was -0.4% compared to December 2014 and -1.3% compared to January of the previous year.

Compared to January 2014, goods were 2.3% cheaper and services 0.6% more expensive.

Regulated prices of goods and services have fallen by 3.2% and non-regulated prices by 0.7% compared to January of the previous year.

Compared to January 2014, the consumer price index was influenced the most by motor fuel, which was 20.7% cheaper. The 2.5% price decrease of food also had a bigger impact on the index – nearly a half of this increase was caused by 13% cheaper vegetables. Compared to the same period of the previous year, 3.1% more expensive alcoholic beverages and 7.2% more expensive tobacco had a bigger impact on the index as well. Compared to January 2014, of food products, the prices of coffee have increased the most (21%) and the prices of sugar (43%) and fresh vegetables (18%) have decreased the most.

In January compared to December 2014, the consumer price index was also influenced the most by motor fuel as its prices fell by 8.3%. The increase in the prices of alcoholic beverages by 4.3%, caused by the ending of the December discounts and the implementation of new rates of excise duty as well as the widespread sales of clothing and footwear, also had a bigger impact on the index. Compared to December, of food products, the prices of carrots increased the most (42%) and the prices of oranges decreased the most (16%).

The previous time that the change in the consumer price index remained under -1.3% compared with the same month of the previous year was in December 2009 when the change was -1.7%.

Due to continuous changes in consumption patterns and prices, Statistics Estonia updates the weights system of the consumer price index and the representative goods every year. In 2015, the weights system of the consumer price index corresponds to the average expenditure structure of the population in 2014. The base prices used for calculations are December prices of the year 2014. To ensure comparability with previous periods, the consumer price index is continued to be published on the base 1997 = 100. The linking month is December 2014. The consumer price index is published on the 5th working day of the month following the end of the reference month. The table presents the expenditure structure (weights) used in 2014, as well as the expenditure structure used since the index of January 2015.

Read more from Statistics Estonia

Retail sales of goods increased 6 pct in December

// // The stable growth in retail sales continued also in the last month of the year – Statistics Estonia

According to Statistics Estonia, in December 2014 compared to December 2013, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises increased 6% at constant prices. Since August, the retail sales growth has remained within a stable of 5–6% compared to the same month of the previous year.

In December 2014, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises were 463.9 million euros, which was 353 euros per inhabitant.

The retail sales in stores selling manufactured goods increased 7% at constant prices compared to December 2013. Sales increased in most economic activities. Only the retail sales in non-specialized stores selling predominantly industrial goods (e.g. department stores) and in stores selling second-hand goods and non-store retail sale (stalls, markets, direct sale) were smaller than in December of the previous year. The retail sales via mail order or the Internet increased the most, with sales increasing slightly more than a fifth (22%). The retail sales increased also in stores selling household goods and appliances, hardware and building materials (9% growth), in stores selling pharmaceutical goods and cosmetics (9% growth), in other specialized stores, such as stores selling computers and their accessories, photography supplies, books, sports equipment, games and toys etc. (8% growth) and in stores selling textiles, clothing and footwear (6% growth).

The retail sales in grocery stores increased 3% compared to December 2013.

The retail sales of automotive fuel increased 10% at constant prices compared to December of the previous year, which was a significantly faster growth than in November. The acceleration in the growth in the retail sales of automotive fuel was influenced by the low reference base of December 2013 and the acceleration in the price decrease of automotive fuel. In November 2014 the annual price decrease of automotive fuel was 4.4%, while in December it was 14.1%.

In December compared to November 2014, the retail sales in retail trade enterprises increased almost by a fifth (19%) at constant prices. This is a usual rise in December when Christmas marketing takes place.

In December, the turnover of retail trade enterprises was 543.6 million euros, out of which the retail sales of goods accounted for 85%. Compared to December 2013, the turnover increased by 5% at current prices. Compared to November 2014, this indicator increased 13%.

According to preliminary data, the retail sales of retail trade enterprises were nearly 4.9 billion euros in 2014; compared to 2013, the retail sales increased 6% at constant prices.

Diagram: Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend

 

Source: Statistics Estonia

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