Retail sales (Jul): 0.3% y/y
Consensus: 0.5% y/y
Previous (Jun): -0.8% y/y
The retail sales came out roughly in line with estimates. The headline figure looks better compared with the previous month, but there was a positive effect of calendar; the working-day-adjusted change was actually negative in July. So was the month-on-month change (-0.8%). Overall, the July figures do not suggest any improvement of the consumer demand. It remains depressed by a decline of real wages, while the unemployment remains elevated. Moreover, the problems in the Eurozone and a negative outlook for the economy make consumers cautious in their spending.
In several market segments the sales increased significantly in June. It was clothes (7.7%), pharmaceutical goods (4.8%), accommodation (4.4%) and computer and telecommunication equipment (3.0%). Also the sales of cars and fuels (1.2%) contributed significantly to the growth of the headline figure. On the other hand, sales of food dropped by 3.3%, which was a significant negative factor.