Actual (Jan): 13% yoy
Consensus: 1.0% yoy
Previous (Dec): 1.6% yoy
Retail sales continue to rise, though at sluggish pace. The latest data can be seen as positive if we take into account higher VAT, surging fuel prices and declining real wages. However, a contribution of domestic demand to GDP growth is likely to be negligible again.
In January, sales of car fuels rose by 4.8% yoy, in real terms, despite record-high prices and confirm a very low price elasticity of the demand. Real sales of mobile phones and IT equipment increased by 8.7% yoy, but deflation, permanent feature of these goods, led to fact that sales in nominal terms rose only by 0.3%. The same holds for clothing and footwear Real sales rose by 7.5%, but seasonal price reduction almost offset that increase.
In 2012, retail sales are forecasted to increase roughly by 1.0%. Domestic demand remains benign as for its impact on inflation and the central bank can stick to its policy of stable and low interest rates for now.