Croatia's January 2022 retail sales increased 2 percent year-on-year, posting growth for the 12th straight month, state agency Hina reported on Tuesday, citing data released by the state statistics bureau.
In January 2022, retail sales fell by 3.9 percent in real terms from December 2021, but increased by 2.0 percent from January 2021. This is a slower growth rate than in December 2021 when retail sales had jumped by 8.5 percent year-on-year.
In January 2022, retail sales continued to rise for the 12th consecutive month, after falling for 11 straight months from March 2020 to January 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic and the associated restrictions.
The sales of food, beverages, and tobacco products dropped by 4.3 percent year-on-year in January 2022, while sales of non-food products (excluding motor fuels) rose by 4.8 percent. Compared with December 2021, sales of food, beverages and tobacco products declined by 2.5 percent in real terms, while sales of non-food products, (excluding motor fuels) fell by 2.3 percent.
Analysts from Raiffeisenbank Austria (RBA) cited by Hina attributed the slower growth of retail sales to “growing uncertainty over geopolitical developments,” which probably “decreased consumer confidence.” In February, consumer confidence returned to the levels recorded in Q1 2020, when the country was in a coronavirus lockdown.
“Stronger inflationary pressures and growing uncertainty will certainly lead to lower consumer spending and will delay purchases of luxury goods. On the other hand, increased demand for staples can be expected, which is bound to have a positive impact on retail trade,” RBA’s analysts said.