Turnover in retail trade declined in April, though less than in November 2020
The trend in retail sales does not reflect that of total household consumption: the latter includes other items such as healthcare, education and rents.
Against the backdrop of the strengthening of health measures, turnover in retail trade fell in April compared to March, declining by 7.1% month-on-month (adjusted for seasonal and working-day variations). The steep 25.7% drop in industrial goods sales was not offset by the 2.1% month-on-month growth in food sales. The sharpest falls in sales were in furniture, perfumery-hygiene and footwear, which declined by 46.8%, 45.4% and 41.2% respectively. Sales held steady in newspapers, automotive equipment and pharmaceuticals, which were up by 1.3%, 0.3% and 0.2% respectively.
The impact of the current lockdown is less pronounced than the previous ones'. Taking a benchmark pre-crisis month (January 2020 here), sales dropped by 7.6 % in April 2021 against respectively 24.4 % and 33.8 % drops in November 2020 and April 2020.
In terms of distribution channels, sales of small shops decreased by 9.9% while those of large general retailers were relatively stable compared to March, inching up by 0.5%. Final data for distance selling are not yet available for April; however, distance selling continued to post strong growth in March, climbing by 28.1% year-on-year, after 46.6% in February.
Total industrial goods and food sales: M/M-1 change (%)
April and March 2021 m-o-m comparison; seasonally and working-day adjusted volume terms
- Sectors are classified according to the relative weight of the products included in the total aggregate of retail trade (see methodology)
- The aggregated and by sub-sector series are seasonally adjusted on an individual basis: the seasonally adjusted series do not represent the sum of the seasonally adjusted components.
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Monthly survey on retail trade
Published on Wednesday, May 19, 2021