Retail turnover in October 2012 virtually equalled the level in October 2011. Retail prices were nearly 3 percent up. The volume of retail sales was down by nearly 3 percent from one year previously.
Turnover generated by food, drink and tobacco shops was nearly 3 percent higher than twelve months previously, but turnover in the non-food sector fell by 3 percent. Mail-order firms and online shops realised a substantial turnover growth by over 19 percent. Turnover generated by petrol stations was approximately the same as in October 2011.
Retail turnover is affected by the shopping-day pattern. In October 2012 the shopping-day pattern was slightly more favourable than one year previously. The positive effect on turnover is estimated at more than 0.5 percent.
After adjustment for differences in the shopping day pattern, October’s volume of sales was approximately 3.5 percent down from October last year. In September, the volume of sales had grown by around 1 percent, the first improvement this year. On 1 October 2012, the VAT rate in the Netherlands was raised from 19 to 21 percent. Perhaps in anticipation of the VAT increase, Dutch consumers decided in September to purchase expensive items they would otherwise not have considered buying in this month.
More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.
For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.