Retail sales (May): -2.5% y/y
Consensus: -2.0% y/y
Previous (Apr): -2.8% y/y
The retail sales decreased by 0.1 pct. over May. In a year-on-year comparison they are 2.5 pct lower, which is slighly worse than expected. The figure was influenced by a significant drop in sales of household equipment (-12.2 pct. y/y). The sales of fuels continued to decrease, too (-3.4 pct.), and we can also see a drop in sales of textiles (-3.1 pct.). The sales of food decreased by 0.3 pct.
So far in 2012 the sales are down about 1 pct. They indicate that the household consumption probably dropped in the 2Q and weighed on the GDP even more than in the previous quarter. The recent figures from the labor market were relatively good. The unemployment rate decreased further, helped by positive seasonal factors. The real wage increased, but the trend in 2012 is still negative. Overall, this is not enough for any significant improvement of the domestic consumer demand. Its weakness would justify monetary easing, but the still high core inflation and risk aversion discourage from such a step.