Retail sales in Hungary fell by an annual 2.8% in May, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said.
The decline slowed from a 10.2% drop in April as a lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus was gradually lifted. Adjusted for calendar year effects, retail sales fell by 2.1% year-on-year in May. Adjusted food sales increased by 1.8%, non-food sales edged up 0.7% and vehicle fuel sales dropped by 13.8%. For the period January-May, retail sales rose by an unadjusted 1.4% and an adjusted 1.5%. Adjusted food sales increased by 5.9%, non-food sales were up 1.5% and vehicle fuel sales dropped by 11.3%.
Takarékbank chief analyst Gergely Suppan said retail sales in the coming months could be lifted by a 500,000 forint bonus some 170,000 healthcare professionals got in June, and by pay rises for teachers from July. He put full-year growth at 1.2-1.5%. ING Bank senior analyst Péter Virovácz said June retail sales could improve further as households make purchases they earlier postponed.