Jobless rate fulfilled expectations and decreased from 13.2% to 13.1%. However, seasonally adjusted rate of unemployment remained unchanged at 12.5%, according to our calculations. Unemployment keeps stubbornly high despite rising production and orders in main industrial sectors. The situation on the labor market, nevertheless, can be seen as positive as total employment rises by 4.1% yoy in March supported by increasing labor force and demand for labor. Thanks to improving financial situation of households, retail sales continue to growth by a relatively high pace and February’s sales rose faster than expected. The detailed breakdown reveals that sales of fuels, cars and pharmaceuticals contributed most to the total figures. Private expenditures should remain one of the key GDP drivers in Q1. Retail sales are likely to encourage the central bank to increase interest rates again in coming months.
Unemployment rate (March): 13.1% yoy (consensus: 13.1%)
Retail sales (March): 9.4% yoy (consensus: 7.8% yoy)