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Press release

Retail trade

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In April 2020 estimates for seasonally adjusted retail trade index sharply declined by 10.5% in value terms in the month on month series, after decreasing by 21.3% in March 2020, as numerous stores stayed shut due to lockdown measures contrasting the Covid-19 outbreak. Likewise volume of sales decreased by 11.4% when compared to the previous month.

In the three months to April 2020, both value and volume of sales dropped by 15.8% and 16.6%, respectively.

Year-on-year value of sales was down 26.3%, while volume reached -28.1% when compared with April 2019. Food sales increased by 6.1% in value terms, while non-food sales plunged by 52.2%.

Large-scale distribution fell by 16.4% compared with the same period a year earlier, while small-scale distribution reported a record decline, decreasing by 37.1%.

In April 2020, non-store sales suffered a drop of 45.2% compared with April 2019.

Despite other channels of distribution experienced a significant decline, online sales increased by 27.1% when compared with the same month a year earlier.

Looking at the value of sales for non-food products, all categories fell dramatically in the year-on-year series.

This drop resulted in extremely low levels for shoes, leather goods and travel items (-90.6%), furniture and textile items and household furnishings (-83.6%), clothing (-83.4%) and sporting equipment, games and toys (-82.5%), while pharmaceutical products was the category suffering the least with a negative 3.5%.

The Covid-19 pandemic emergency affected the data collection of the survey and a moderate fall in the response rate was registered. New strategies were implemented to deal with the missing responses in order to calculate and release accurate indices for April 2020 (for further details see Methodological note, page 8).

Reference period: April 2020

Date of Issue: 05 June 2020

Next release: 7 July 2020



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