Actual (Mar): 0.9% y/y
Consensus: -0.8% y/y
Previous (Feb): -1.3% y/y
The data from Hungary´s retail sector beat estimates as it posted a growth of sales in March after a decline in the previous month. The data was positively influenced by the fact that this year the pre-Easter shopping started already in late March, contrary to the previous year when the effect was only felt in April. The sales growth was driven by household equipment (+6.0 pct. m/m), textiles (+2.9 pct.) and second-hand goods (+3.6 pct.). On the other hand, the sales of fuels fell again (-0.7 pct.) due to higher prices.
On the labor market we can see the unemployment rate increase, but there is a negative seasonality at the beginning of the year. The figures from the 1Q are the same as last year. The real wage growth was negative in March. Overall, these conditions cannot boost retail sales. Moreover, current wave of debt crisis in the Eurozone may tighten credit conditions and consumers may also become more cautious in spending because of the bad economic news.