Romania's retail sales index increased by 6.6% y/y in January, which is a higher rate compared to last year’s 5.5% average advance in retail sales and compares positively with the expected slowdown in private consumption.
The seasonally and workday adjusted sales index increased by 1.9% in January compared to December, which is a high rate since it equates to an annualised rate (the growth achieved in one year provided the monthly speed is maintained) of over 25%.
Food sales increased moderately by 4.3% y/y in January, but the sales of non-food goods (not including the car fuels) soared by 9.4% y/y, demonstrating still robust consumer confidence despite concerns related to the government’s recent populist steps.
January’s strong sales figures might indicate that the government’s populist rhetoric has reached its purpose of creating a certain momentum among consumers, with promises to redistribute wealth from companies to households through higher wages and higher taxes.
Wages remain considerably lower than in the EU, but when compared to productivity, the apparent labour cost advantage of the Western Balkan countries disappears, says study by World Bank and wiiw.
Russia's industrial output growth surged to 4.1% year-on-year in February, after 1.1% posted in January, according to the most recent data by Rosstat agency.
Both industrial production and construction have been weakening since beginning of this year. Industrial production contracted by 1.1% and construction by 13.2% year-on-year in January 2019, according to data by the Czech Statistics Office (CSO) publ
Azerbaijan’s retail trade turnover grew by 2.6% y/y in comparable prices in the first two months of 2019, reaching AZN5.5bn (€2.9bn), the State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan reported.
Year-on-year inflation in Slovakia increased by 2.3% in February, with core inflation amounting to 1.9% and net inflation at 1.7%, the Slovak Statistics Office reported on March 14.