In March the retail sales remained in decline

news release no 55

According to Statistics Estonia, in March 2010 compared to March of the previous year the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises decreased 9% at constant prices. Since the beginning of the year the decrease in retail sales has been relatively stable compared to the same month of the previous year.

In January the retail sales of goods decreased 11% and in February 10% compared to the same month a year ago. In March, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises were 4.3 billion kroons. Compared to March 2009, the retail sales of goods increased in three economic activities: the retail sales of food, beverages and tobacco in specialized stores (44%), the retail sales of second-hand goods in stores (11%) and in stores selling pharmaceutical goods and cosmetics (5%). The very low reference base in 2009 contributed to the sales growth of the retail sales of foods, beverages and tobacco in specialized stores. The sales increase in these stores does not significantly influence the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises, because the share of this economic activity is very small, 2% in March 2010. The decrease in retail sales of goods was most influenced by the stores selling manufactured goods, where the retail sales decreased by 15% compared to March 2009. The retail sales of stores selling household goods and appliances, hardware and building materials decreased most or 27%. The decrease in non-specialized stores with industrial goods predominating and in stores selling textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods slowed down more compared to the previous months. In these stores the retail sales of goods decreased 8% during the year, which was one of the smallest decreases over the last one and a half year.

In March, the decrease in grocery stores also slowed down to some extent. If in January and February the retail sales in these stores decreased 6% compared to the same month of the previous year, then in March the decrease was 4%.

Compared to the previous month, the retail sales in retail trade enterprises increased by 13% in constant prices. According to the seasonally and working-day adjusted data the retail sales decreased by 1%.

In March the revenues from sales of retail trade enterprises were 5.3 billion kroons, out of which retail sales of goods accounted for 82%. Compared to March of the previous year, the revenues from sale decreased by 3% at current prices. Compared to the previous month, this indicator increased 14%.

Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend, January 2002 – March 2010 (2005 =100)

Diagram: Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend, January 2002 – March 2010 (2005 =100)

For further information:

Jaanika Tiigiste
Leading Statistician
Services Statistics Service
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9257

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database.