Retail sales marginally up

Retail sales were 0.5 percent higher in May than twelve months previously. Retail prices were nearly 3 percent higher. May 2011 had one Saturday less and one Tuesday more than May 2010. The negative effect on turnover is estimated at nearly 2 percent. The holiday pattern was also different from that in May 2010. Ascension Day and Whitsun were in June this year instead of May. The effect on retail sales is unknown.

Petrol stations entirely accounted for the marginal turnover increase. They generated over 9 percent more turnover than in May 2010. Motor fuel prices were 11 percent higher. If this branch is not taken into account, retail sales were 0.6 percent below the level of May 2010.

Turnover in the food sector was almost 1 percent lower. Supermarket sales declined less than sales of specialised shops in the food sector. Food retailers charged 3 percent more for their products.

Turnover in the non-food sector was also nearly 1 percent down, but the various branches within the non-food sector showed a mixed picture. Chemist shops and textile supermarkets achieved far better results, whereas home furnishing shops, DIY shops and clothes shops grappled with declining sales.

Apart from petrol stations and traditional shops, mail order firms and online shops are also included in the retail sector. Mail-order firms and online sales again improved substantially (+8 percent), after two months of modest growth.

Retail turnover

Retail turnover

More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.