Retail sales in the Czech Republic have declined for the thirteenth consecutive month. According to revised data released by the Czech Statistical Office (CZSO), retail sales in May showed a year-on-year decline of 6.1%, a slight improvement from April’s decline of 8.4%. However, monthly sales increased by 0.5%.
Compared to May of last year, non-food product sales decreased by 9.2%, while food product sales decreased by 6.4%. On the other hand, sales of motor fuels increased by 11.5%.
The CZSO reported that all types of stores, except those specializing in computer and communication equipment and pharmaceutical and medical products, had lower sales. Sales also increased for non-specialized stores with a predominance of non-food products.
Sales of household products decreased by 16.2% in stores, sales of clothing and footwear decreased by 12.4%, sales of sporting goods decreased by 7.2%, and sales of toiletries decreased by 2.6%. On the other hand, sales of computers and communication devices increased by 2.6%, and sales by pharmacies increased by 1.4%.
Sales of food products decreased by 6.5% in non-specialized stores with a predominance of food products and by 3.6% in specialized food stores. Sales of internet and mail-order stores declined year-on-year for the seventeenth time, this time by 8%.
Sales and repairs of motor vehicles increased by 2.3% year-on-year in May. Customers paid 2.7% more for motor vehicles, including spare parts than a year ago. Repair sales increased by 0.7%.
The decline in retail sales in the Czech Republic has been ongoing for over a year and is a significant concern for the country’s economy. Companies are struggling to recover from the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the CZSO’s data suggests that consumers are still hesitant to spend.