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Lithuanian retail sales slow further in September

„Jamam“ diena „Akropolyje“
„Akropolio“ nuotr. / .
Šaltinis: BNS
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Lithuania's retail sales continued to slow in September as shoppers became more cautious with their spending ahead of the new heating season and fuel sales dropped further with fuel prices staying above the 5-litas (EUR 1.45) level, according to Vilija Tauraitė, chief analyst at SEB Bankas.

"The result is not very pleasing. (The annual) growth (rate in September) is very low, apparently the lowest since October 2010," she told BNS, commenting on September's retail figures released by the country's statistics office on Friday.

Retail sales grew by 0.9 percent in September year-on-year.

"This seems to be due to restrained expectations among people, who are cautious about spending money, especially with the heating season approaching. The other factor is inflation in individual product groups, for example, fuels," she said.

Vaiva Šečkutė, a senior economist at Swedbank, said that easing unemployment will be the key factor driving growth in retail sales.

"The accelerating job creation and higher wage growth should lead to a more marked increase in retail trade volumes. Based on data from the Labor Exchange, registered unemployment in the country eased further in the third quarter of this year and reached 10 percent in September," she said in a comment.

Lithuania's retail sales, not including car sales and repairs and food and beverage service providers, rose by 5 percent in January through September year-on-year to 19.371 billion litas (EUR 5.6b), excluding VAT.

Retail sales dropped by 7.6 percent in September versus August to 2.226 billion litas. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, however, retail sales were up by a monthly 0.2 percent, Statistics Lithuania said.

BNS
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