Retail recession in Estonia worst in EU

Now, for the same amount, you can buy significantly fewer goods in an Estonian store than a year ago.Photo: Andras Kralla

Inflation and rising bank interest rates have drastically reduced retail trade in Estonia. In March, sales fell three times more than the EU average.

Estonian retail trade turnover fell by 13.5% in March (compared to the same month last year, calculated at constant prices). It is also the fastest fall in the entire eurozone, where retail sales fell by 3.9%, Eurostat said on Friday. The only country where the depressing picture is comparable to the Estonian one is Slovenia. Its sales fell 12.8%.

Estonia’s result is unpleasantly surprising even in comparison with its own previous statistics. In February, revenues fell by only 6%, recalls Johanna Linda Pihlak, an analyst at the Statistical Office.

The largest decline was shown by the revenue of shops of industrial goods, here sales in March decreased by 18%. “The high base of comparison influenced,” Pihlak clarifies. But the clear trend is that continued price increases are limiting people’s consumption more and more.

Whereas in general, sales in the euro area are pulled down primarily by food (by 6.8%) and the same manufactured goods (by 2.2%).

At the same time, motor fuel sales grew by 3.5%.

Looking more broadly across the EU, double-digit declines were also recorded in Hungary (-13.2%) and Sweden (-11.2%).

But there are also opposite trends. In Spain, where inflation is several times lower, sales even increased by 10.8%, in Cyprus, too, growth – by 5.6%. The top three EU leaders also include Romania (7.2%).

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Source: by

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