19 Apr 2010 18:59

Retail trade grows 2.9% in March

MOSCOW. April 19 (Interfax) - Retail trade turnover in Russia increased 2.9% year-on-year in March to 1.262 trillion rubles, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) said in a report.

This growth was more than analysts surveyed by Interfax had forecast (2.3%). The consensus-forecast for retail trade growth in 2010 is 3.7% (Economic Development Ministry - 3.3%), and in 2011 - 4.7% (4.1%).

Retail trade turnover contracted 5.5% in Russia in 2009. The greatest drop-off was posted in August and September, when in decreased a respective 9.6% and 9.7% year-on-year.

Growth resumed only with the start of 2010. Updated Rosstat figures show retail sector sales returned to the previous year's level in January and increased 0.9% in February.

In the first quarter as a whole, Russian retail trade turnover increased 1.3% to 3.608 trillion rubles.

Stationary trading outlets accounted for 87.4% of retail trade, markets and fairs for 12.6%. Food goods, including groceries, beverages and tobacco, accounted for 49% of overall, while non-food items accounted for the other 51%.