Bulgaria: Retail sales growth reaches highest level in over five years in February
April 8, 2014
In February, retail sales (excluding the sale of motor vehicles and motorcycles) expanded 9.2% over the same month last year according to the National Statistical Institute (NSI). The expansion marks an improvement over the 7.3% increase observed in January and represents the strongest expansion since July 2008. According to the NSI, the improvement was mainly the result of an increase in sales of food, beverages and tobacco as well as non-food products. Conversely, sales in automotive fuel and specialized stores decreased compared to the same month last year.
Monthly data, however, do not confirm the improvement observed in the annual data. Retail sales increased 1.0% over the previous month in February, which was down from the 2.1% rise recorded in January. Nevertheless, the trend still points upwards: annual average growth increased from January's 3.8% to 4.9% in February.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants see private consumption rising 1.5% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2015, panelists see growth in private consumption at 2.7%.
Author: Dirina Mançellari, Senior Economist