Trade Development Trends Unchanged in November
In keeping with the previously observed trend, the retail turnover diminished (by 2.3%) in November. The weak domestic demand was still determined by dropping incomes and reduced benefits for those having the unemployed status for a prolonged period of time as well as uncertainty as to the possible future changes in the family budget. Retail is one of the branches of the economy that will continue to contract and will feel the positive influence of renewed exports later than the branches that derive direct income from exports.
The trade in food items contracted at a faster rate (3.9%) than that in non-food items (1.4%), which, to a certain degree, can be explained with the beginning of holiday shopping as well as with shop marketing policies. Of non-food items, the sales of computers, computer equipment and telecommunications equipment grew the most (16.1%). The drop was the greatest in textile, clothing, and footwear (15.5%), as well as furniture and other household item (10.1%) retail.
As a result of shopping for presents and holiday meals, there is more activity in shops in December, yet this increase will find no reflection in the seasonally adjusted retail turnover data. For merchants, the competition for consumer loyalty in the run-up to holidays was definitely keener than before and attracting consumers depended more on marketing campaigns. The trends in confidence indicators point to a more pessimistic assessment of the situation by consumers than that by merchants. Although the trade confidence indicators have recently been improving gradually, they remain low. As a result, domestic demand and retail activity will remain low in the near future and we can expect gradual improvement only in the second half of next year.