Thursday, June 28, 2012

28/6/2012: Retail Sales for May 2012

The retail sales figures for May are out and are, as expected, not pretty.

The volume of retail sales (i.e. ex-price effects) decreased by 0.1% in May 2012 m/m and there was an annual decrease of 2.1%. The value of retail sales decreased by 0.4% in May 2012 when compared with April 2012 and there was an annual change of –1.5%. 

Relative to annual peak, sales are now down to 72.9% in value terms and 77.9% in volume terms. Relative to monthly peak, they are down 25.6% in value and 19.8% in volume.

We have now gone two consecutive months of m/m declines in value and volume and five consecutive months of y/y declines. Both 3mo and 6mo MA for value and volume indices are ahead of May reading. For value index, 2012 average to-date is 87.28, which is below 2010 average of 88.83 and 2011 average of 88.15. For volume, current 2012 average to-date is 91.02, which is worse than 2011 average of 92.69 and 2010 average of 93.51.

Quarterly movements are shown below:

On core retail sales side (ex-motors), the volume of retail sales increased by 0.8% in May 2012 when compared with April 2012, while there was also an annual increase of 0.8%. There was a monthly increase of 0.7% in the value of retail sales and an annual increase of 1.5%. Value increase is less significant than volume increase, so we are still witnessing margins pressures. Survival of the fittest in the sector is not yet completed.

May marked the first month of core retail sales increase in annual terms since December 2011 in value and volume. Currently, value index is running at 81.11% of the annual peak and volume index is at 84.79% of the series annual peak. However, in value terms the 2012 average to-date (95.7) is slightly ahead of 2011 average of 95.6 and is below 2010 average of 97.6. In volume terms, 2012 average to-date is 98.8, which is lower than 2011 average of 99.8 and 2010 average of 102.7.

Per CSO: The sectors with the largest month on month volume decreases are Bars (-4.2%), Books, Newspapers and Stationery (-2.8%), Electrical Goods (-2.5%) and Motor Trade (-1.9%). A monthly increase was seen in Food, Beverages & Tobacco (6.5%), Hardware, Paints & Glass (6.3%) and Pharmaceuticals Medical & Cosmetic Articles (3.8%). Pills, booze, smokes... hopefully not paint for inhalation purposes.

International comparatives through April are shown above. Not a pretty sights across the board.

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