Actual (Dec): 1.5 % y/y
Consensus: 1.0 % y/y
Previous (Nov): 1.1 % y/y
The December retail sales beat estimates, showing a higher y/y growth than in the previous month. The growth was mainly driven by sales of household equipment; a positive contribution also came from sales of pharmaceutical goods and books. On the other hand, sales of textiles, second-hand goods and fuels have decreased. The month-on-month sales growth was marginal (0.1 pct) and similar to the previous month. The data still shows an increasing role of internet sales (+36.4 pct m/m).
As for the whole-year change, the retail sales only slightly increased by 0.2 pct in 2011 compared with the previous year. It is a better result than the 2010 decrease but the figures still point to a weakness of consumer demand. Nevertheless, a potential monetary policy easing will depend on whether the country reaches the IMF deal. This issue continues to be a risk factor for the Hungarian assets, although the risk premia have already dropped.