2015 the strongest Swedish retail year since the financial crisis

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December continued the strong trend in retail sales. An increase in 4.7 percent in current prices and 3.4 percent in adjusted prices was boosted by strong food sales and strong off-season categories such as home hardware. Toys retailers had a better Christmas than expected.

The total retail sales increase for 2015 stops at 5.7 percent.

The Swedish retail trade sales volume increased by 3.4 percent in December compared with the same month last year. Retail sales for consumables increased by 2.8 percent while retail sales for durables increased by 3.9 percent. The information is working day adjusted.

The turnover for retail trade measured in current prices increased by 4.7 percent from December 2014 to December 2015. Retail trade for consumables showed an increase of 5.1 percent, while durables increased by 4.4 percent.

Retail trade sales decreased by 1.5 percent between November 2015 and December 2015. During the last three-month period (October through December), sales increased by 0.7 percent compared with the previous three-month period (July through September). Both of these figures are in constant prices, working day adjusted and seasonally adjusted.

The grocery trade had a development better than expected and improved sales by 5.1 percent. Retail trade of food was corrected for December 2014 due to new data.

One of the winners during the Christmas season 2015 was interior decorating with an increase in sales by 9.4 percent. Furniture and clothing also demonstrated powerful growth rates.

”The most impressive growth rate was in the home hardware category, an industry sector that has its peak season during the spring. The toys category, which is the sector most dependent on the Christmas sales, increased by 5.3 percent. That was a strong statement, since almost one fourth of the yearly sales takes place during December.” comments HUI Research.

The full month of December was one of the warmest recorded since the measurements began in 1859. Weather dependent categories sports and shoes categories decreased sales by 1.4 and 8.1 percent respectively. Both categories have a product range which is dependent on the weather.  This fact further decreased the possibilities for both sectors.

2015 was a strong year for retail sales and the growth rate stopped at 5.7 percent. Retail has not shown such strong growth rates since the years before the financial crisis. HUI writes that during 2015 the retail sector will have reclaimed lost market shares.

”This year’s strong growth rates for retail are explained by increased purchasing power due to a stable labour market, rising real estate prices, low interest rates, high savings and low inflation. HUI predicts that the retail industry will have a sales growth of 4.0 percent for the full year.”