Retail trade in Russia up 2% in February, slowdown was expected
MOSCOW. March 20 (Interfax) - Retail trade turnover in Russia was up 2% year-on-year in February 2019 to 2.440 trillion rubles, the Russian State Statistics Service (Rosstat) said.
Growth in February picked up from 1.6% in January and proved substantially higher than expected, with an Interfax consensus forecast envisaging a decline of 1.4%.
In 2M, Russian retail trade turnover grew 1.8% to 4.929 billion rubles.
Growth in February was driven by the nonfood sector: sales of nonfood goods were up 2.4% to 1.257 trillion rubles after 1.2% growth in January. The indicator was up 2% in 2M to 2.543 trillion rubles.
Trade in foodstuffs, including beverages and tobacco goods, slowed by 1.7% to 1.182 trillion rubles in February compared with growth of 2.1% in January. In January-February, sales of foodstuffs were up 1.9% to 2.385 trillion rubles.
According to a consensus forecast, retail trade turnover in Russia in 2019 will grow 1.2%. The Russian Economic Development Ministry's baseline scenario, approved by the Russian government in late September, envisages growth of 1.7%.
In 2018, retail trade turnover in Russia grew 2.6% to 31.548 trillion rubles.