In May 2021 estimates for seasonally adjusted index of retail trade slightly increased by 0.2% in value terms, likewise volume rose by 0.4% in the month on month series. Despite the growth, in May 2021 total retail sales levels for both value and volume were still lower than pre-pandemic levels of February 2020.
In the three months to May 2021 value of sales increased by 3.3% when compared with the previous three-month period, while volume was up 3.5%.
Year on year, value of retail trade continued its growth, increasing by 13.3% and volume sales grew by 14.1% comparing to May 2020, when non-essential retail stores were partially closed due to pandemic restrictions.
In May 2021, all channels of distribution increased when compared with May 2020. Large-scale distribution was up 8.3%, small-scale distribution grew by 19.5% and non-store retail sales rose by 19.4%.
In May 2021, year on year online sales showed the slowest growth since November 2019, rising by +7.2%. This slowdown in growth rate is ascribable to the extraordinary high growth of sales seen in May 2020, when the Covid-19 crisis first set off the surge in online sales. However internet sales remained significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels in May 2021.
Looking at the value of sales for non-food products, all sectors witnessed growth apart from Computers and telecommunications equipment (-4.0%). The largest increase were reported for Clothing (+82.3%) and Shoes, leather goods and travel items (+59.7%).