Strong Swedish retail sales in February

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The extra sales day in February boosted Swedish retail sales significantly.

The turnover increased by 8.7 percent from February 2015 to February 2016. Retail trade for consumables showed an increase of 6.4 percent, while durables increased by 10.8 percent. In constant prices and working day adjusted the retail trade sales volume increased by 3.9 percent in February compared with the same month last year. Retail sales for consumables increased by 1.2 percent while retail sales for durables increased by 6.0 percent.


”The strong increase in sales for February can be explained partly by an extra day of sales due to the leap year (4 percentage points). But even adjusted for the leap year, the retail sector continued to show strong sales figures. With the February results 2016 has started off strongly. Although the opening months should be interpreted cautiously, January and February being the least important sales months of the year, the outcome suggests that last year’s consumption level might remain for a while,” comments Andreas Svensson, HUI Research.

”The retail sales for consumables increased by 3.2 percent (leap year adjusted), where 1.8 percent points can be explained by price appreciation. Retail sales for durables increased by 5.8 percent (leap year adjusted). For durables the growth rate of prices was negative in February. However, the trend suggests prices might increase due to a low valuation of the currency, higher import prices and rising costs. Clothing and furniture are two industries where price appreciation towards consumers has already started. More industries are likely to follow during the year.”

Home hardware showed positive sales figures in February and continues the promising growth rate from 2015.

In constant prices, working day adjusted and seasonally adjusted, retail trade sales decreased by 0.2 percent between January 2016 and February 2016. During the last three-month period (December through February), sales increased by 0.4 percent compared with the previous three-month period (September through November).

HUI’s forecast of the retail sales for 2016 suggests a growth rate of 4.0 percent.

Sales development 2016/2015:

Sweden

Current prices

Working day
adjusted,
constant prices

Price
change
Working
day
effect
Feb.% 2016% Feb.% 2016% Feb.% Feb.%
Retail sales for consumables
6.4 4.6 1.2 1.7 1.8 3.3
Retail sales for durables
10.8 7.5 6.0 6.4 -0.3 4.9
Total retail trade
8.7 6.2 3.9 4.3 0.6 4.1