Retail Sales Down for First Time after Five Years

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Retail sales in Croatia in May 2019 were 2% lower than in May 2018, which is the first time they dropped after going up for 56 months.

The national statistical office  published a report on retail trade and its working-day adjusted statistics show that consumption in May was 4.6% down from the previous month and 2% down from May 2018.

Analysts of Raiffeisenbank Austria (RBA) said in their comment on the report that the monthly and annual declines in retail trade had unpleasantly surprised the market, ending a record 56-month streak of growing annual consumption that started in September 2014.

The monthly and annual consumption decreases occurred despite a relatively high degree of consumer optimism and expectations and the fact that wages and employment have continued to grow, the analysts said.

Preliminary figures on tourist arrivals and overnight stays indicate a decline and warn of a high degree of dependence on tourism, the analysts said, noting that they expected retail trade to slow down mildly this year to 3.5%.

Croatia’s industrial output in May 2019 was up 0.2% year-on-year, and May was the fifth month in a row to see industrial output rise albeit at a lower rate than in previous months, figures from the national statistical office (DZS) show.

The production of durable consumer goods recorded the highest growth, of 5.6%, followed by energy production, which grew by 1.2%.

The production of non-durable consumer goods increased by 0.7%, followed by the production of intermediate goods, which grew by 0.3%.

On the other hand, the production of capital goods fell by 4.8%.

Industrial production in 2018 dropped by 1% on the year, for the first time after four years of growth.

In the first five months of 2019, industrial output grew by 2.2% compared to the same period of 2018.

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