Retail turnover plummets in April

Retail turnover was nearly 9 percent down in April 2012 from April 2011. In March, sales increased by more than 2 percent. Retail prices were 2 percent higher, but the volume of retail sales shrank by nearly 11 percent relative to twelve months previously.

Retail turnover is affected by the shopping-day pattern. The shopping-day pattern was considerably less favourable in April 2012 than in April 2011. April 2012 had a Friday and a Saturday less, but a Sunday and a Monday extra. Altogether, the negative effect on sales is estimated at approximately 5 percent.

Shops in the non-food sector faced the most dramatic turnover loss. Their turnover was nearly 13 percent down from April 2011. Clothes shops, textile supermarkets and DIY shops each suffered a turnover loss of more than 15 percent. Household appliances shops and home furnishing shops also suffered a great deal. Only consumer electronics shops realised a modest turnover growth.

Turnover generated by food, drinks and tobacco shops was 6 percent down. Petrol stations faced a 3 percent turnover loss. Apart from traditional shops and petrol stations, the retail sector also includes mail-order firms and online shops. They achieved a turnover growth of nearly 5 percent.

The figures in this article were updated based on retail figures released on 14 June 2012. The revision is based on more recent and more detailed information.

Retail turnover

Retail turnover

More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.