Czech Retail Sales Continue to Rise

In April, retail sales in the Czech Republic increased by 5.3% year over year, marking the fifth consecutive month of growth. However, the pace of growth has slowed compared to March, and sales have merely stagnated on a month-to-month basis. The Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ) released the data on Wednesday.

The growth in retail sales was driven by increased sales of non-food items, fuel, and groceries. The largest contributors to the growth were online and mail-order businesses, and unspecialized stores with a predominance of food. Sales of non-food items rose by approximately seven per cent year on year, fuel sales by nearly four per cent, and food items by 3.6 per cent. However, sales of fuel (-0.3%) and food items (-0.2%) slightly declined compared to March.

In April, online and mail-order businesses saw significant sales growth of more than 18 per cent compared to the previous year. Stores selling cosmetic and toilet products (+17.1%) and pharmaceutical and medical goods (+8.4%) also did well.

Conversely, according to the statistics, sales in clothing and footwear stores decreased by 0.2 per cent.

The main economist of the Czech Banking Association, Jakub Seidler, said that retail sales in recent months confirm that household consumption is reviving. This is due, among other things, to the renewed growth of real wages and improving household confidence.

Retail sales have been on a recovery path, and economists agree that they will grow by 2.5 per cent this year. However, from a longer-term perspective, real sales are still about two per cent below the average level in 2019.