Retail sales, March: Strong spring effect for durables

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The retail trade sales volume increased by 5.1 percent in March compared to the same month last year. Mainly because of a strong spring effect for durables.

Consumables exhibit a negative development of 5.5 percent, although this is due to the calendar effect caused by Easter. Adjusted for this, consumables show a positive development, increased by 0.6 percent while retail sales for durables increased by 8.6 percent (working day adjusted).
Within durables the majority of the industries show a positive sales growth. Clothing and shoes had a strong negative development during the same month last year, but recoups this year.
”Sports and leisure goods gained momentum in sales, partly thanks to the early spring. In addition to the weather-dependent industries the more capital-intensive sectors continue to grow strongly. Consumers prioritize and focus on their homes, both interior decorating and renovation, which drives growth in these sectors”, HUI Research comments.

Retail confidence fell slightly in March, but is still above the historic average. Consumer confidence decreased marginally between February and March, which means that the indicator is just below the historic average.
The growth for 2014 is predicted to an increase by 3 percent for total retail sales and the positive trend for the majority of the industries is predicted to continue.