Retail sales strengthened further in September as consumers spent more on cosmetics and electrical appliances and returned to bars and restaurants.
Figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CSO) show that retail sales, a strong indicator of consumer demand, rose 0.3% in September from the previous month.
On an annual basis, retail volumes were 12.6% higher than in September 2020, but the CSO warned that year-over-year comparisons were misleading due to the low base of sales that took place at various times over the past year.
The sectors with the highest monthly increases were bass (12.3%); pharmaceutical products, medical and cosmetic articles (7.8%); books, newspapers and stationery (6.5%); and electrical appliances (5.1%),
In contrast, car sales fell 6%.
Compared to September 2019 before the pandemic, retail sales volume in September 2021 was 12.6% higher, the CSO said.
Several sectors posted significant changes from their corresponding sales level in September 2019.
The largest increases were observed in electrical products (31.5%); pharmaceutical products, medical and cosmetic articles (27.1%); department stores (25 percent); and furniture and lighting (22.6 percent).
Despite the rebound, other sectors have so far not surpassed pre-pandemic sales levels.
The largest reductions were recorded in bars (20.2% less than in September 2019) and books, newspapers and stationery (8.3% less than in September).
In its latest quarterly bulletin, the Central Bank predicted accelerated growth of 15.3% this year, nearly double its previous forecast in July, against a backdrop of a rapid recovery in consumer spending linked to the $ 16 billion unwinding. euros of excess savings. in place during the pandemic.