In March 2021 estimates for seasonally adjusted index of retail trade slightly decreased by 0.1% in value terms, while volume was up 0.1% in the month on month series. In March 2021 total retail sales levels for both value and volume were still lower than pre-pandemic levels of February 2020.
In the first quarter of 2021 value of sales grew by 0.2% while volume contracted by 0.3% when compared with the previous quarter.
Year on year, value of retail trade increased by 22.9% after decreasing for 4 months in a row. Likewise, volume sales rose by 23.5% when compared to March 2020, which was the first period of national lockdown due to pandemic.
In March 2021, all channels of distribution grew when compared with March 2020. Large-scale distribution was up 17.0%, small-scale distribution increased by 27.8% and non-store retail sales rose by 43.8%. This was the first month of growth for non-store retailers since January 2020.
Online sales continued to grow in March 2021, rising by 39.9% when compared with the same period a year earlier.
Looking at the value of sales for non-food products, all sectors witnessed growth. The largest increase were reported for Sporting equipment, games and toys (+110.7%) and Optical instruments and photographic equipment (+109.2%). The smallest annual growth was reported for pharmaceutical products (+0.7%).