Romanian June Retail Sales Rise Annual 16% on Increased Wealth

Romanian June Retail Sales Rise Annual 16% on Increased Wealth

Romanian retail sales rose an annual 16 percent in June because of higher wages, a stronger currency and increased investment in the retail industry.

The increase, higher than the 9.8 percent annual gain in May, stemmed from a 24 percent advance in sales of food, from 6.9 percent in May, the National Statistics Institute said in an e- mailed news release today. On a monthly basis, retail sales stagnated from May, when they grew 0.3 percent.

Sales in the services industry fell 2.7 percent from a year earlier compared with 5.7 percent in May. Sales of non-food goods rose 8.3 percent, from 13 percent in May.

A stronger currency and higher income boosted consumption in Romania, which joined the European Union on Jan. 1. Average net monthly wages rose an annual 22 percent in May. The leu has gained 11 percent against the dollar and 6.6 percent against the euro so far this year, encouraging Romanians to buy more imports.

EU membership also helped lure more retailers. European companies including Auchan SA, Carrefour SA, IKEA, Metro AG, Praktiker AG and others have announced expansions in Romania and coffee chain Starbucks Corp. opened its first shop in the country.

Today's report doesn't include cars and engine fuels and figures aren't adjusted for any difference in the number of working days.

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